Skip to main content

Full text of "THAT ROYAL LOVER"

See other formats









Copyright., /pjr, by Konrad Bercovici 
All rights reserved, including the right to 
reproduce this book or any parts thereof 



JL HE outside world, espe- 
cially the American world, had heard little about 
Roumania until the beginning of the European war 
in 1914. And then for months afterward, interlarded 
between reports of German victories, advances, 
atrocities, and French and English resistances, 
trickled the news about Roumania's indecision as to 
which side she would join in the armed conflict of 
the European powers. 

Carol von Hohenzollern, nephew of the emperor 
of Germany, was king of Roumania then. The 
political world speculated as to whether he had 
enough authority to force a Latin people to fight 
shoulder to shoulder with the Germans, or whether 
the Roumanians would have enough courage and 
pride to refuse to fight against a people they loved 
and of which they considered themselves a sister 
nation France. 

When, after many tergiversations, Roumania 
threw her lot in with the Allies, and the war had 
drawn to an end, it appeared that Roumania's im- 



portance in the news of the world would dwindle 
to very little if it would not, indeed, come to an end 
altogether. An agricultural country, emerging from 
the war with a miscellaneous population of almost 
eighteen million inhabitants and a territory of nearly 
200,000 square miles, an almost feudal country, there 
did not seem to be, on the surface, any reason why 
Roumania should occupy much space in the public 
prints. It had lived unknown and quietly before 
the war, working out its own salvation as best it 
could without much trumpet and fanfare. Little 
that happened there was intrinsically potent to make 
the country the butt of the attention of the world. 
The protest meetings in New York and Paris against 
the manner in which the Jews were treated there 
seldom created more than a passing flurry. 

True, the country has considerable oil fields, 
which in themselves are sufficient to drive all the 
motors of Europe, but these oil fields were and are 
mostly in the hands of a few American and English 
companies, who work them as concessions, and ex- 
ploit them as suits them without conflicting with the 
oil industry of America and England. Not more 
than one-third of the capacity of the Roumanian oil 
wells has ever been pumped. 

True, the Roumanian wheat fields grow enough 
grain to keep the rest of Europe in bread. But this, 
too, is kept well in hand by a few feudal barons and 



speculators who manipulate the resources of the 
country in such a manner that the news of its riches 
should never spread too far and attract too much 
attention elsewhere. As a country Roumania had 
been treated like a "good thing" and had not been 
too extensively advertised by those who knew. 

Then, suddenly, and for none of these qualities 
ui advantages, the attention of the world was fo 
cussed on the kingdom of Roumania; because of an 
all too active Queen Marie, wife of King Ferdinand 
of Roumania and grandchild of Queen Victoria of 
England, and because of her too unruly and spectac- 
ular household of sons and daughters, as anxious as 
their mother to keep the center of the stage of the 
world; as anxious as prima donnas and moving pic- 
ture actresses and acrobats and tenors to hold the 
attention of the public. Roumania became the 
laughing stock of the world, the Ruritania of musical 
comedies, a country of pseudo romance, of medieval 
intrigues a country seemingly existing for no other 
purpose than to furnish amusement to lovers of 
vaudeville jokes and models of settings for moving 
picture cameras. 

Deafened by the claptrap, the world forgot that 
of the eighteen million inhabitants of Roumania 
there are at least fourteen million who live by the 
sweat of their brows, tilling the soil and wresting a 
living from the forests that cover the mountains, 



from the rivers and the sea that border the country 
and digging into the bowels of the earth to furnish 
motive power for the industries. For Roumania is 
one of the richest of countries in natural resources. 
It has considerable unexploited coal areas, ore fields, 
amber fields; and its wines and its fruit are the 
prizes of Central Europe. 

Its steers and flocks of sheep have fed and clothed 
millions of people, outside its own confines, for 
hundreds of years. 

The world forgot all this because the Queen in- 
sisted on attracting attention to herself; because the 
princes managed to create fresh scandals daily, and 
because the princesses insisted upon romping about, 
engaging themselves to be married to this and that 
prince and breaking off the engagements before the 
ink had dried on the paper on which the news was 
announced. The royal household of Roumania 
became the smallpox of the world's newspaperdom. 
No one could ever foresee when and where they 
would break out. 

A rapid bird's-eye view of Roumania in retrospect 
seems necessary here. The stage must be set before 
the actors of the play come out to speak their lines. 

Very little is known of the history of Roumania 
until the twelfth century. It is assumed that the 



Roumanians are the descendants of the legionnaires 
of Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, the Roman general who 
built the magnificent road that leads to the banks 
of the Danube. Having defeated the Dacs under 
Decebal, a warlike people living then in that part of 
the world, these legionnaires, riffraff of Europe, are 
supposed to have exterminated the Dae men and to 
have taken their women in marriage. As the Le- 
gionnaires were engaged by the Romans for only 
a limited period of time, after that war, the mer- 
cenaries whose time of service had expired, chose 
grants of land in lieu of pensions, and remained to 
live with their women in the country they had con- 
quered; because it had better soil than the one 
they had left behind and they were tired of fight- 

The records of how and under what administra- 
tion those legionnaires lived until the twelfth cen- 
tury are few, far between, and not very trustworthy. 
Undoubtedly the peoples that invaded Europe, in 
the centuries following the original settlement, also 
found the land to their liking and settled there, and 
mingled with the population until they were ab- 
sorbed by the first settlers. These invaders left their 
traces in the language, customs, habits and the dress 
of the people; left ample proof that the blood of 
Goths, Visigoths, Huns and Slavs runs in a. goodly 
proportion in the blood of the Roumanians of today. 



There are references to these people on the banks 
of the Danube in chronicles of the Roman Empire, 
references which incline one to believe that they 
were in close communication with the Romans, and 
that for a time Roman consuls had been sent to gov- 
ern them. That they were not yet an organized 
country, an entity in themselves, in the eleventh cen- 
tury, is to be deduced from the fact that no chronicle 
of the Crusades mentions their existence; though 
the Crusaders must have passed through their terri- 
tory in going from Hungary and Bulgaria toward 

In the twelfth century, the people of these terri- 
tories organized themselves into two separate states 
Moldavia and Walakia, each governed by a dif- 
ferent Prince. However, the princes fought amongst 
themselves when they were not in trouble with their 
neighbors, the Poles, the Hungarians, the Russians 
and the Turks. After more than a century of con- 
tinual fighting they became vassal states to Turkey 
in 1392, and paid tribute to the Porte until 1716. In 
that year the Roumanian princes formed a secret 
alliance with Czar Peter the Great of Russia. De- 
feated by the Turks, separately and together with 
their ally, they lost their independence and were gov- 
erned from then on by the Fanariots of Constanti- 

The Fanariots were wealthy Greeks of Con- 


stantinople who lived in a suburb called the Fanar. 
These Greeks, merchants and politicians who had 
for centuries done all the dirty work of the Moslems 
and accumulated considerable fortunes thereby, 
bought from the Turkish government the concession 
to rule Roumania for a definite period of time. 
There was no limit set as to how the Roumanians 
should be exploited; what taxes they should pay or 
what justice should be meted out to them. Such 
unimportant items were left to the buyers of the 
concession. At the expiration of the term, the con- 
cession expired, and the Fanariot retired a multi- 
millionaire to live in Paris where even the long 
Turkish arm could not reach him for part of his 

Each Fanariot was followed by another Greek 
who, having paid more than his predecessor for the 
right to exploit the country, increased the taxes and 
treated the people worse than they had been treated 
before. The peasants were slaves, serfs, and the 
rulers had all the rights and none of the responsi- 

During their reign, these Fanariots assumed the 
title of Prince. Europe is now filled with Canta- 
cuzenes, Shtirbeys, Mavrocordatos (Black Hearts) 
Sutsos, and a host of other princes of like names, all 
of them descended from the suburb of Fanar in Con- 
stantinople. During this period in Roumanian his- 



tory there were many popular uprisings against the 
oppressors. Young men organized themselves into 
bands of Haiducis, roamed the forests and fields, set 
fire to the castles of the boyars, and punished every 
wrong doing of the Greek landlords. For these 
Fanariots brought with them, when they came to 
Roumania, their own managers and slave drivers, 
relatives and favorites, who enriched themselves dur- 
ing the short period of their administration. Others 
bought large land holdings and exploited them 
either by continuing to live in the country, after the 
masters had departed, or by practicing absentee land- 
lordship from behind the walls of the Parisian 
palaces. Roumania was the happy hunting ground 
of the lowest element of Eastern Europe. It is a 
miracle that the people survived the persecutions and 
vicissitudes it suffered during that period and the 
one that followed. The cruelest slave owners in 
America treated the blacks far more humanely than 
the Roumanian peasant was treated. But then the 
Negro slaves had cost money. The peasants were 
gratuitous beasts of burden multiplying without any 
cost to the owners. 

In 1829, by the Treaty of Adrianople, the Rouman- 
ians gained a conditional independence from 
Turkey; the right to choose their own princes, who 
engaged themselves to pay yearly tribute to Constan- 
tinople. In 1859, Moldavia and Walakia united and 



elected one Jon Cuza as their prince. Constantinople 
was compelled to recognize this union two years 
later. But the inner strife of a people who had 
labored through seven centuries of continual war- 
fare and internal oppression, had so changed its 
psychology, and the fact that there were so many 
foreign interests at work Russophile, Turko- 
phile, Grecophile and Germanophile prevented this 
union from being anything but formal. 

At that time Jon Bratianu, a young man who had 
led a rather hectic life in France and in Germany, 
and who had been in prison for his revolutionary 
activities in France, returned to his native country, 
and finding it so disrupted, so unable to govern itself, 
so unwilling to agree as to who should be the new 
ruler at the expiration of Cuza's term, came to the 
conclusion that the people of Roumania should be 
ruled by someone not belonging to either of the 
provinces, Jon Bratianu believed the Roumanians 
unfit to rule themselves and thought it politically 
necessary to have a foreign dynasty on the throne of 
the country. After many secret conferences with 
statesmen of foreign countries, the choice fell upon 
a young lieutenant in the Prussian army, Carol, a 
descendant of the Hohenzollerns. 

During these secret conferences, the other coun- 
tries intrigued each for their own men. For it be- 
came evident that the country of origin of the one 



selected to be the ruler of Roumania would wield 
considerable power and would have great influence. 
Because of this, Jon Bratianu had to bring Carol to 
Roumania in a most secret manner. He left Bucha- 
rest, ostentatiously in the company of a valet, and 
went to Paris. From there he returned to Roumania 
by way of Germany. The original valet was lost 
somewhere and the young Prince took his place, to 
serve Bratianu en route. The original valet's name 
was Hans Koch. Prince Carol of Hohenzollern 
took this name while travelling with his pseudo mas- 
ter. Evidently orders had been sent out to watch 
Bratianu's comings and goings. When the border 
officers of Hungary invaded Bratianu's compartment, 
Carol was fast asleep and had to be shaken by his 
master before he woke up to answer the questions 
put to him by the men of the law. He was sleepy 
and tired, Carol was, and so when they asked him 
his name he looked stupidly at Bratianu instead of 
answering. Whereupon Jon Bratianu, acting nat- 
urally, not as a former revolutionist, but as the feudal 
baron he was, boxed Carol's ears while he said: 

"You stupid fool. Don't you even know that your 
name is Hans Koch?" 

The strategy worked. Carol was brought into the 
country to be acclaimed by the Roumanian people 
as their Prince. Bratianu was made Prime minister 
and became the father of his country. Carol of 



Hohenzollern never forgot that his ears had been 
boxed by a Roumanian, that the price he had paid 
for the sceptre was the greatest humiliation he had 
ever suffered. He never forgot that experience and 
never forgave, and made the whole country pay in 
gold, throughout his reign, for that first vexation on 
Roumanian soil. 

In 1877, Roumania, still a vassal country to the 
Turks according to the treaty of Adrianople, decided 
to throw its lot in with the Russians, who were fight- 
ing the Turks. In 1878, after the defeat of the armies 
of Osman Pasha, the treaty of Berlin recognized 
Roumanians absolute independence. Roumania no 
longer had to pay tribute to Turkey. It was a King- 
dom. Carol became King. 

To compensate Roumania for the help she had 
given in the struggle against the Turks, Russia took 
Bessarabia, one of the most fertile provinces of Mol- 
davia, and gave in its stead the wasteland lying be- 
tween the Danube and the Black Sea, the Dobrudgea 
which it had wrested from Turkey. 

That Berlin treaty contained some clauses intended 
to make of Roumania a civilized country. One 
clause gave freedom of religious worship, equality 
before the law, and the right of citizenship to all 
people born in the country. But these rights were 
never accorded and remained dead letters for the 
next fifty years to come. The country that had suf- 



fered so much oppression became an oppressor. 
Bratianu, the revolutionist, the humanist, became 
the arch reactionary of Europe. 

The first years of Prince Carol of Hohenzollern's 
rule were marked by his continual desire to resign 
the throne and return to his homeland. The letters 
to his father which have been published recently 
show the contempt in which he held the country and 
its people and how anxious he was to leave. But 
the fortunes of that branch of the Hohenzollern 
family were very low, and despite his contempt for 
the people he governed, Carol was becoming richer 
every day. 

His military talents may be doubted, when one 
considers the aspects of the wars he engaged in dur- 
ing his reign. In the Balkan War tens of thousands 
of Roumanian soldiers perished without ever having 
used their guns perished because they had been 
sent in one direction and their food in another; 
perished like flies because of the inadequacy of the 
commissariat and the medical corps. But Carol's 
business acumen and talents can never be denied or 
doubted. With German thoroughness he organized 
cheese factories, wine presses, leather factories and 
demanded more and more land "for the crown" from 
each successive government. He demanded and ob- 



tained higher and higher salaries for himself and 
for his henchmen; organized companies, bought 
monopolies, and sold concessions until his branch of 
the Hohenzollern family, instead of being one of the 
poorest, as it had been until a few years before, be- 
came one of the richest. Still he wanted to resign 
the throne. But his father's letters advised him to 
stay where he was. He was a good son, Carol. He 
obeyed. He amassed millions. The taxes became 
heavier and heavier. 

Married to Elizabeth, Princess of Wied, he gave 
the young lady little love, but enough leisure to 
devote herself to several agreeable small arts; paint- 
ing, embroidery, music and literature. They called 
Queen Elizabeth a "sweet old lady" in Roumania 
before she was thirty years old. When her hair had 
grayed prematurely, people said she had dyed it 
silver white to conform to the popular conception 
of her. Under the pen name of Carmen Sylva, she 
soon became well enough known as a poetess and as 
a writer of Roumanian romances. Actually she wrote 
sentimental rubbish that would not have obtained 
space in a single newspaper had she not been the 
Queen of Roumania. Unwittingly, Carmen Sylva 
set the style that made an authoress out of her suc- 

After an heir was born to the throne, and that heir 
died a rather mysterious death, life between the royal 



consorts became a mere formality. No other child 
was born of that union. Carol brought from 
Germany a nephew of his, Ferdinand of Hohenzol- 
lern, and had him declared heir to the Roumanian 

Roumania prospered under King Carol's rule. 
His administrative zeal was imitated by other land 
owners and speculators. The slavery under which 
the people were held until Carol's advent changed 
form, partly because of the industrialization of farm 
labor and also because of that wind of freedom 
which had swept Europe since 1848. The taxes were 
still very heavy; the peasants still had little or no 
voice in the government of their country. Only 
those who owned land had a right to vote. Only a 
few peasants owned land. But the people felt they 
were free and hoped for greater freedom. There 
were several agrarian revolts. Carol put them down 
with an iron hand, never overlooking an occasion to 
pay back for the ear boxing he had received when he 
had first landed in that country. 

The King governed Roumania with the assistance 
of two major political parties the Liberals and the 
Conservatives. The Liberal Party was headed by his 
friend Jon Bratianu. Carol took care that the two 
parties should hold power alternately. When the 
Liberals had allowed him to wrest some more land 
for the crown during their reign, he allowed them to 



stay in power a few more years before calling the 
Conservatives into action. When the Conservatives 
had been good to him they stayed a little longer than 
before. For a party to be in power meant that the 
members belonging to it accumulated enough during 
their reign to keep them and theirs in good humor 
during the period of idleness. With the change of 
each governing party all the administrative functions 
changed personnel The salaries for these functions 
were ridiculously small, yet the most insignificant 
office holder became wealthy during the brief reign. 
The term of tenure of office was actually a concession 
for graft and pillage; on the same style that the 
Fanariots had practiced. 

Indirectly, Roumania was being governed by 
Germany through King Carol. Officially, Bucharest 
was the capital of Roumania. Actually, Berlin was 
the capital. Germany's influence was so considerable 
that up to 1914 one could easily have believed him- 
self in a German province while in Roumania. 
Berlin ordered. Carol suggested Berlin's orders to 
the Ministers of State. German goods were sold in 
preference to any others. German banks financed 
Roumanian industries. The army was patterned 
after German rules and the officers acted in the same 
arrogant manner as the Prussian officers. Carol 



dreamed of transforming Roumania into a Belgium 
of the Orient. He anticipated that dream by calling 
the country by that name long before it deserved 
the title. Many industries were introduced. For 
no reason at all an agricultural country was being 
forced into the yoke of industry. For no intelligent 
reason an agricultural people was being made to 
manufacture things for which they had neither in- 
clination nor aptitude. As an industrial country, 
Roumania was a fiasco. 

In due time, English, German and French indus- 
tries began to wage a battle on Roumanian terri- 
tory. Knowing that though the Roumanian people 
had shaken off the Turkish yoke they had not 
shaken off the Turkish habit of bribery and bakshish, 
the French, the English and the Germans fought 
their way to the front by corruption and dishonesty. 
American industrialists would be shamed in their 
homeland if it were known how they have obtained 
concessions and monopolies. Before 1914, Bucha- 
rest, the capital of the country, was flattered by the 
name of Little Paris, and housed more idlers, more 
corrupt officials, more degeneracy and more prosti- 
tution than its sister city of greater renown. Foreign 
gold did that. 

I lived in Paris as a child. I remember how 
offended I was when my comrades, French boys, 



averred that they had never even heard of Roumania. 
Things changed rapidly. If Berlin was the political 
and financial capital of Roumania, Paris became the 
social and joyous center of that country. Roumania's 
old nobility and new nobility flocked to Paris. The 
French magnanimously called them all Moldavian 
princes and Walakian counts. They filled the dance 
halls, the theatres, the cabarets. Long before the 
Americans had taught the Frenchmen how money 
could be spent freely, the Roumanians had been 
there to teach them that lesson. Roumanian towns 
and cities became rich, opulent, vulgar, while the 
peasants were pressed down lower and lower in the 
social scale and exploited more and more, while ves- 
sels laden to the brim with wheat carried away part 
of the grain of the country to other nations, while 
flocks of sheep and cattle were driven out over the 
border into Austria, into Italy and into Germany 
and Poland. 

Outwardly, and considering the riches of the 
country by per capita wealth, Roumania was a pros- 
perous nation. Actually the peasants were the poor- 
est of the poor, living on corn meal boiled in water, 
without meat, without butter, frequently without 
salt, and toiling from early dawn until late at night; 
to furnish the luxuries of the landlords, the boyars, 
the townspeople, the officials, and to add more mil- 



lions to Carol of Hohenzollern's coffers. Curiously 
enough "Hohenzollern" means high taxes, in 

One of the clauses of the Berlin treaty which made 
Roumania an independent kingdom was specifically 
aimed to ameliorate the situation of the Jews in the 
country. There had been some anti-Semitism in 
Roumania before the advent of Carol of Hohenzol- 
lern. The Greeks and Levantines hated them be- 
cause they were business competitors. Some of the 
old rulers had used the time honored method of 
blackmailing them, imposing special taxes and 
draining their coffers from time to time. Carol 
brought the prejudices of the Germans, of the Prus- 
sians and the so-called scientific hatred against the 
Jews to his kingdom. Even during the brief reign 
before the treaty was made, his antipathies had be- 
come evident. Synagogues were burned down after 
unproven accusations of ritual murder had been laid 
at their doors. 

There are documents to prove that Jews had lived 
in Walakia and Moldavia long before the twelfth 
century and it is probable that they had been there 
before that. Some of the early voevod rulers of 
Roumania had employed Jews as financial advisers. 
At no time during the struggles with the Poles, the 



Hungarians, the Turks and the Russians had the 
Jews been other than Roumanians. During the 
reign of the Fanariots, the blackest and darkest days 
in Roumanian history, the Jews had never helped 
them exploit the country, but had been known to 
side with the peasants in the struggle against the 
oppressors. There had been but little social inter- 
course, and few intermarriages between Jews and 
the Christian population of the country, yet that was 
not due to any aversion, but to religious differences. 
The Jews were very religious and so were the Rou- 
manians. Roumania was the only country not to 
have an actual ghetto for the Jews. They were not 
compelled to live separately from the other people. 
They had always been free to live wherever they 
chose, go wherever they pleased, trade with whom- 
ever they chose. They were not a country within a 
country, or a power within a power. 

After the advent of Carol of Hohenzollern the 
Roumanian anti-Semitic rumblings obtained a loud 
voice. The Jews were not recognized as citizens, 
even after they had proved to the satisfaction of all 
that they were descendants of ancestors born in 

True, in Moslem countries, none but Moslems 
have citizenship rights, but then none but Moslems 
are called upon to do military duty or to defend the 
country. In Roumania, the Jew was compelled to 



do military service, was made to assume all the duties 
of a citizen without having any of the rights. When 
education became compulsory, the Jewish child was 
not allowed to enter the schools for which his father 
paid taxes, but was compelled to go to one of his own 
schools. At the university he was only admitted ac- 
cording to a "numerous clauses"; in proportion to 
the number of Jews in the country. The Jew could 
not rise to higher rank in the army than that of 
corporal. The Jew was not admitted to any func- 
tions of the town, the city, the state or the govern- 
ment. A Jew could not practise law. The rights 
to practise certain trades, to engage in certain busi- 
nesses, was denied. 

It was to obviate these things that the Berlin 
Treaty contained special clauses, but after the act 
was signed the Berlin government, which was a 
guarantor of the treaty, did not trouble itself to 
enforce it, despite the entreaties of the rest of the 
world, despite repeated demands of influential rulers 
and great statesmen. 

Carol's reign can boast of a few agrarian revolts, 
and anti-Semitic instigation and systematic perse- 
cution of a people which had given its utmost for the 
aggrandisement of the country in which they were 
born. Every time the peasants seemed on the eve 
of venting their dissatisfaction, those in power 
pointed out to them that the Jews and not the boyars 



were responsible for the ills from which they were 
suffering that the Jews were responsible when the 
harvest was a poor one, responsible for the inade- 
quacy of the quantity of corn meal in their pots, and 
that the Jews were responsible even for the cold 
winters and for the invasions by wolves of the small 
villages. And since the Jews were undefended and 
unprotected, and since these poor bedraggled peas- 
ants needed an outlet for their anger, the devilish 
plans succeeded. 



LT is one of the tragedies of 
monarchies that they are hereditary. The history of 
the reigning houses of the world is a recital of 
matricides, parricides and fratricides. Among no 
other class of people have such crimes been as prev- 
alent and as frequent as in royal houses. Son killed 
father, mother killed son, brother killed brother, and 
wife killed husband, for the privilege of ruling. Yet 
monarchs seem to rejoice every time an heir is born 
to the throne. It is in the very nature of a monarch 
not to suffer any competition beside him. He alone 
must be the head of the country; he alone must be 
the last arbiter in everything. However, no sooner is 
an heir born to the throne than a competitor is born. 
Courtiers and courtesans of every palace, since the 
beginning of history, immediately begin to lay plans 
to win favor with the ruler to be. When the heir 
to a throne grows to maturity he waits impatiently 
for the moment when he will take the sceptre into his 
hands. He looks upon the ruling King as someone 
who lives too long to suit his purpose. 



Since monarchies have always passed to the first 
born son, and to the descendants of that first born, 
every royal household has seen the second born 
brothers only too anxious to have the first born out 
of the way before he leaves any progeny. Heirs to 
thrones have always seen in their younger brothers 
enemies, and have watched their camarillas and in- 
trigues closely. Witness the murders of all the reign- 
ing houses since the beginning of history. Absolute 
power contains its own poison in its very nature. 
The holders of absolute power are the first ones 
poisoned by it. 

The royal household of Roumania is no exeception 
to the rule. If there have been no fratricides, matri- 
cides and parricides, it is only because times have 
changed somewhat. The printed word has taken the 
place of dagger and poison. Queen Marie is the 
past master in the handling of this new weapon. 

Ferdinand von Hohenzollern was no sooner 
brought to Roumania than the country saw the birth 
of two underground parties behind the official polit- 
ical parties. The Carol party and the Ferdinand 
party. King Carol was still in the full vigor of life 
and manhood and could not but have seen in 
Ferdinand the man who wished him to a speedy 
grave. Brutal, coarse, King Carol lost no oppor- 
tunity to show his displeasure and dissastisfaction 
with everything the heir to his throne did. Carol 



lost no opportunity to humiliate him before the 
people the prince had been called to rule- Fer- 
dinand, who was not born to be a King, who was 
not fitted for such an office, either physically or 
mentally, had accepted the heirship to the Rouman- 
ian throne reluctantly, as one would accept a well- 
paying office. 

The future commander of the army could not even 
keep his seat on a horse. Unprepossessing physically, 
a stutterer, when he arrived in Roumania he gave 
himself up at first to the pleasant occupations rel- 
ished in boudoirs and gay companionship. Com- 
pared to the severe atmosphere of his home in Sing- 
maringen the atmosphere of Bucharest was like that 
of a libidinous story in the Arabian nights. Boc- 
caccio himself could not have invented more willing 
ladies than this young man found in Bucharest. 

Whatever else can be said about King Carol, he 
was of a rather stern disposition and not an idler. 
Uncle and nephew had but little in common, yet 
Queen Elizabeth, in whose salon musicians, artists 
and poets frequently foregathered, found Ferdinand 
a rather agreeable companion. She could discuss with 
him matters that lay near her heart and for which 
her husband, King Carol, had but little understand- 
ing. Elizabeth was not an artist, God forbid, but 
she was artistic. 

When King Carol was not forming and reforming 


the Roumanian army, when he was not engaged in 
changing and rechanging the military uniform of 
his soldiers, and buying new armaments from his 
beloved Krupp factories, he was busy with commer- 
cial ventures which required a great deal of his time. 
He had no patience with the nonsense which ab- 
sorbed his wife. He let Ferdinand and Elizabeth 
discuss pleasant matters and amuse themselves as 
they saw fit. 

Those who knew Prince Ferdinand intimately 
say that he had an ear for poetry, that he was in- 
terested in botany, that he knew Greek and Hebrew 
and that he was continually trying to decipher 
manuscripts in those languages. These accomplish- 
ments may be granted, yet they do not raise his 
stature as a King. 

During his first years in Roumania, Ferdinand 
met a young lady, Helena Vacarescu, a poetess, and 
the descendant of a noble house of the country. She 
was a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth. Prince 
Ferdinand fell in love with her. 

The King knew nothing of the amorous affairs 
in the royal palace until he was suddenly informed 
that Prince Ferdinand wished to marry the young 
lady and that Queen Elizabeth, who had taken a 
fancy to the young poetess, was in favor of such a 
union. Carol could hardly master his ire against his 
wife and his nephew. His argument against his 



nephew's choice was that it would tend to weak 
the Hohenzollern dynasty in the country. He la 
down the rule that no Hohenzollern should mar 
a Roumanian, even if that Roumanian were 
royal blood. 

Prince Ferdinand, so docile, and humble, so u 
resisting until then, revolted and proclaimed that ] 
was even willing to renounce heirship to the throj 
if "that thing" obstructed his union with the lac 
he loved. What a strange history that throne h 
had. Those who occupy it have always first refus< 
to occupy it. Carol, Ferdinand, Prince Carol. Mar 
alone would have been happy in it ... and she ta 
no luck. When King Carol denied Ferdinand eve 
the right to refuse the throne, he, Helena Vacaresc 
and Queen Elizabeth, acting as a chaperone, left tl 
country secretly and went to Venice to hide. 

Infuriated, stunned by the scandal in the pre 
which Ferdinand's action had stirred, King Car- 
departed post-haste for Venice, invaded the youn 
lovers' retreat, demanded from the Italian goverj 
ment the expulsion of his recalcitrant nephe\ 
dragged Ferdinand back with him to Roumania an 
separated him forever from Helena Vacaresci 
King Carol was unwilling to see the heir to ti 
throne happier than he had been. 

Those who have described the scene, maintain thz 
Carol used coarse language, soldatesque languag 



and brutal force to separate the two lovers. That 
accomplished, he exiled the poetess, and sent his 
wife, Queen Elizabeth, into a nunnery to expiate her 
sins while he returned to the country triumphantly. 
Prince Ferdinand appealed to his family. He was 
told to listen to reason. The humiliations Carol 
heaped upon Prince Ferdinand after that episode did 
not tend to make either of them popular with the 
people of the country. The royal palace made no 
effort to stop the lampoons in the Roumanian daily 
press. Ferdinand's ears were extravagantly large. 
They were made the target of ridicule. Not a day 
passed in which the prince was not compared to 
the animal famous for his long oral appendages. 

And yet there always was a group of courtesans 
in the Roumanian palace sympathizing, or pretend- 
ing to sympathize with Prince Ferdinand. These 
courtesans figured that Carol could not live forever, 
that given the ordinary span of life, Ferdinand was 
bound to survive him. Carol, who had never had 
any faith in Roumanian statesmen and had always 
believed that the mysterious death of his one child 
was attributable to them, grew to be more and more 
wary of his nephew and more and more contemp- 
tuously afraid of him. Ferdinand of Hohenzollern 
grew to be more and more impatient with his uncle 
and watched with dread how the older man actually 
grew stronger as the years rolled by. 



In his book "Eminent Europeans," my frier 
Eugene Bagger tells that Queen Marie had had 2 
opportunity to become the future Queen of Englar 
when she was but sixteen years old; that the the 
Prince George had bluntly asked her to become h 
wife, and that she had refused. 

England will never know how good the gods ha 
been to her. 

Let us forget the petty intrigues and politic; 
machinations that made out of this young Cobur 
princess, the wife of the heir to the Roumania; 
throne. Ferdinand did not want her. He was stil 
in love with Helena Vacarescu. Marie was certain! 
not in love with him. He had nothing that coulc 
recommend him to a young lady of her temperamen 
and beauty. She had not been unaware of his lov< 
for the Roumanian poetess. Royal matings mis 
matings-~have usually been of that ilk. There wer< 
many other likely young men that Princess Marie 
would sooner have married, but they happened noi 
to be heirs to thrones. Her family was bent on add- 
ing another corner to their historical crown. She 
must have been very beautiful then, Marie. I refuse 
to believe that she grew to be beautiful as she ma- 
tured. She looks as though she had been born 

In due time the turbulent young lady arrived in 
Roumania as its future Queen. For a brief period 



the princely young couple lived in the palace of the 
former Moldavian capital, Jassy. There, however, 
the sphere of activity was much too narrow for 
Marie. Having gotten herself thoroughly disliked 
by Moldavian society, she intrigued her way back 
to Bucharest where she had an opportunity to make 
herself disliked by many more people. While not 
yet on the throne, she knew the value of being in its 
immediate neighborhood. If King Carol had been 
given reasons to be dissatisfied with the impatience 
of Prince Ferdinand, the young princess galled him 
even more. For here was a young lady who asserted 
her superiority in everything, who paced the palace 
noisily and attempted to rule the country even while 
the King was still alive. There was no friendship 
lost between Carol and his nephew's wife. There 
was little subtlety in their quarrels. They were 
coarse and grossly spiced with epithets. Those at the 
court who had foresight, allied themselves with 
Marie. Not to be her friend was to be her enemy. 
She gave proof of a long memory and tenacious pur- 
pose from the very moment she entered the country. 
King Carol now reigned with half-hearted ad- 
visers, who always had an eye on Marie, no matter 
what they decided. They were afraid of her. She 
was an unscrupulous enemy and a treacherous ally. 
She had a Machiavellian mind and could be as reck- 
less as Catherine the Great. When she could not 



win otherwise, she brought her charm into play . . . 
and that weapon few could resist. 

When the European war began to design itself 
on the political firmament, it became clear to every 
European statesman and to every Roumanian poli- 
tician that the struggle for supremacy within the 
country would be a terrific one; that in the align- 
ment of battle forces, Marie would oppose and be 
opposed by King Carol; that they were two an- 
tagonistic forces battling for supremacy. Marie saw 
the future clearly enough. 

Marie lost no time in making her husband more 
ridiculous then he had been until then. It became 
clear that in the event of Carol's death Prince Fer- 
dinand would only be a nominal King; that the 
power on the throne would be Marie. She en- 
trenched herself well with the army, made friends 
among generals and officers, and began very early 
in her marital life to show contempt for whatever 
was considered good manners. 

Before the first child was born, her name had been 
coupled with this and the other man, and the scandal 
had become so apparent that even Ferdinand, who 
had let her have her own way until then, rose in 
wrath. Marie left Roumania and went back to Eng- 
land, and then royal peacemakers for the nation 
intervened when they heard that Marie was soon to 
give birth to a future heir to the throne. It was 



Ferdinand who had to bow and apologize before 
Marie came back to assume her place. Having won 
her way that once, she continued in the same man- 
ner. She blew the bugle of independence. Her 
escapades were at first the secrets of those in and 
about the royal household, but before long they 
began to be whispered in Roumanian newspaper 
offices. In due time the news crossed the borders 
and spread to the world. People talked of the affairs 
of Marie as freely as they talked of the weather. 
What the Queen did was taken as example by the 
social set. Marital fidelity in the higher classes of 
Roumania became a joke. The sexual code, which 
had never been very rigid in a country that had 
suffered so much from foreign oppression, became 
much looser than that of France. To be in style, 
every lady who respected herself, had at least one 
lover and frequently more. 

King Carol had protested and protested again, but 
the young lady was English, asserted her freedom 
and her individuality, and said that she would do as 
she pleased. 

On the eve of the war even Marie's own children 
cast doubts about the paternity of their brothers and 
sisters. One of Marie's daughters, the Queen of 
Jugoslavia, has publicly referred to one of her sisters 
as Mile. Shtirbey. 

King Carol lived on. He took very good care of 


himself physically, hoping that by the time he would 
be ready to leave this world, Marie would have 
settled down and King Ferdinand would remain 
with but the memories of her turbulence. Another 
child and another were born to the Princess. Marie 
was as prolific as she was vivacious. Prince Shtirbey 
began to administer the princely fortunes and be- 
came the head of Marie's camarilla. Though Carol 
had become more and more wary of the Liberal 
party, that had brought him to the throne, and had 
permitted the Conservative party to stay longer and 
longer in power, chiefly because its members had 
been educated in Germany, the Bratianus, the Shtir- 
beys and Marie and Ferdinand became wealthier 
and wealthier every day. The young princess was 
as good a business woman as Carol was, and Shtirbey 
was a past master at the game. King Carol left 
$34,000,000 when he died after forty years of power. 
King Ferdinand left $78,000,000 after five years of 
tenure of the throne . . . when Roumania was on 
the brink of bankruptcy. 

Before the war broke out, besides the younger 
children of Marie, the royal household of Roumania 
lined up as follows: 

King Carol, Prince Ferdinand, heir to the throne, 
Queen Elizabeth, Princess Marie, and young Prince 


Carol, Marie's oldest son. The sympathy and loyalty 
that reigned in that house, with two legitimate heirs 
waiting to ascend the throne, can easily be pictured 
but can hardly be described. The air was never free 
of poisonous intrigues and political machinations. 
The King and princess and princeling were so busy 
parrying each other's secret blows they had no 
thought for anything else. 

King Carol was in the sixties and looked well 
enough and strong enough to live another twenty 
years. Had it been given him to live his full life, 
Marie would have been sixty when her husband 
ascended the throne. After the death of King Carol 
people said that there was only one man in Rou- 
mania, and that man was Queen Marie. 

Prince Carol, Marie's son, would have had to wait 
at least forty years before he ascended the throne. 
He was a little over twenty when the European war 
broke out. 

Instead of political parties, Roumania was gov- 
erned by camarillas. The camarilla of King Carol 
was composed of rather elderly men and women 
who hoped that he would live at least as long as 
they did. A set of young politicians and pseudo 
statesmen, headed by Prince Shtirbey, Marie's en- 
tourage, watched anxiously the King's face in the 
hope of discovering that he was growing old. Had 
they lived at least a half century before, when it 



could not be proven by chemical analysis that they 
had hastened the processes of nature, Carol's end 
would have come sooner. A still younger camarilla 
circled around Prince Carol. They hitched their 
wagon to his stallions. 

Queen Marie's elder son had no hope of ascending 
the throne while still in the prime of health and 
while still possessing the ability to enjoy the privi- 
leges the sceptre would confer upon him. Because 
King Carol sided with the Conservatives, Marie, 
quite naturally, sided with the Liberals. Old 
Bratianu had died and left in his place his son, as 
able and unscrupulous as he had been, and who was 
now at the head of the Liberal Party. Prince Carol 
was not on friendly terms with either of these 
parties. The antagonism between mother and son 
was in evidence years ago. Marie and her son are 
too much alike in their makeup to be anything but 
enemies. The younger military men had settled 
their hopes on Prince Carol and furnished the gay 
and spirited entertainment his young soul craved. 

The European war found old King Carol in an 
anomalous position. He was the head of a govern- 
ment over which he had no control. Quite natu- 
rally, his sympathies were with Germany; though 
he had never been on friendly terms with Emperor 
William, who had continually sought to interfere 
in his affairs. Carol was a Hohenzollern of the 



Hohenzollerns; as such he hated the English and 
the French. 

The heir to the throne. Prince Ferdinand, was also 
a Hohenzollern, but his wife sided with the Allies 
and was against the Central Powers; a position 
which gave her considerable ascendancy over the 
Liberals and the people of Roumania who were not 
in sympathy with Germany and her allies. 

Prince Carol, always out of sympathy with his 
mother, leaned on the side of his great-uncle. 

When, after several attempts to throw Roumanians 
lot in with the Central Powers had failed, King 
Carol concluded that death was preferable to leading 
his armies against the people of his own blood. 

The European war had broken out in the middle 
of August, 1914. In October of the same year, King 
Carol called his statesmen and friends to a con- 
ference. After a lengthy discussion on the war and 
its possibilities, he bid them goodbye and shook 
hands with them. There were tears in his eyes. 

The following day King Carol died suddenly. 
Those who respect his memory, affirm that he was 
manly enough to commit suicide rather than to 
abdicate or do what was contrary to his conscience. 

Marie was jubilant. She became Queen. It was 
understood that she was not to be the power behind 
the throne that she was the power itself; that it 
was she who actually occupied the throne, Euro- 


pean powers began to bargain with her personally 
for the use of Roumania's army. The strength of 
Roumania was put on the auction block to go to 
the highest bidder. When one of the bidders held 
back, he was stimulated by the offers of his com- 
petitors. The country was overrun with German, 
Russian, Austrian, French and English emissaries 
worming one against the other, and eating into the 
flesh of its moral substance. Marie raised the ante. 
Seldom in the history of any people has there been 
as much corruption crammed into one short period 
as during those few years of Roumania's life. In- 
fluences were being bought and sold in the open 
market. The upper classes of Roumania prospered 
as they had seldom prospered before. The costliest 
silks and jewels were not good enough for them. 
Gold oozed from every pair of dirty hands. The 
grain of the country was sold before it was harvested 
nay, before it was seeded in the ground. 

Even those who had been favorable to the Allies 
and had preached intervention in their favor, began 
to see how much more profitable it was to remain 
on the fence. Despite her pro- Ally tendencies, despite 
the fact that most people in and out of Roumania 
were convinced that ultimately Roumania's army 
would fight on the side of the Allies, Queen Marie 
was shrewd enough to drive a hard bargain. She 
gained thereby considerable personal profit and the 



gratitude of her friends and sympathizers. She was 
a great Queen. She was making them rich. 

She helped them acquire the experience of states- 
manship which later on augmented the territory of 
Roumania beyond the wildest dreams of the greatest 

King Ferdinand was not in on the Queen's trans- 
actions. He existed only to put his official seal on 
what the Queen had decided and what she had done. 
He cared little about what was happening. Weak, 
sick, he was happy to sidestep quarrels with his 
irascible consort. Marie's power was so great that 
had King Ferdinand tried to interfere, she could 
have driven him from the throne and had herself 
proclaimed ruling Queen of the country. 

The King's weakness, his inability to make up his 
mind, his procrastinations, and lack of will were 
secrets Marie did not in the least attempt to conceal. 
When Prince Carol told his father that such a posi- 
tion was untenable and that he himself felt ridicu- 
lous because of it, the King refused to listen to his 
son. Prince Carol openly and loudly denounced his 
mother's favorites and flayed her and them publicly, 
but King Ferdinand knew how futile and how ex- 
hausting it was to quarrel with a woman who did 
not even trouble to deny the accusations brought 
against her. 

Finally, after three years of continual bickerings 



and bargainings, Roumania's hand was forced. The 
Queen decided the war. Long before Rou- 
mania had entered the war, French and English 
generals and engineers had hammered the Rou- 
manian armies into shape. The plans of battle 
were drawn for the Roumanian generals. Roumania 
entered the war with King Ferdinand tottering on 
his horse, but with Queen Marie blowing the loud- 
est trumpet. Her publicity department boasted of 
more typewriters than the army had cannon. There 
were more photographs of Queen Marie distributed 
to the soldiers than rations. 

The Queen's armies invaded Hungary. The 
King's armies were defeated. In less than half a 
year, two-thirds of Roumania was invaded by the 
Germans; the Roumanian army was rammed into a 
corner of Moldavia, from which it could not budge. 
Was the Queen downhearted ? No. She had vowed 
to fight on to the last drop of blood of the last Rou- 
manian soldier. 

Of Prince Carol's record in that war I shall speak 
elsewhere. Suffice it to tell here that it was not a 
glorious one, that it would not have gained him even 
an honorable discharge from the Roumanian army, 
if he had been a simple mortal or even a General's 
son. He had been drawn into the war against his 
will. He fought on the side of the Allies who were 
unsympathetic to him. He had never been a friend 


of the Liberals, of the Bratianus and Shtirbeys who 
had cast the die. He was out of sympathy with 
generals, officers and soldiers. He believed he was 
fighting on the wrong side. He deserted in the face 
of the enemy, and crossed the border, into enemy 
country, while the Roumanian soldiers were still 
fighting. Other deserters were shot in the back 
when they were caught. Prince Carol was eventu- 
ally crowned King. 



has figured most frequently in the public prints 
about Roumania; especially since the world has been 
loudly informed of the scandals in the Roumanian 
royal household. He has been referred to as the 
Rasputin of Roumania, as the Grey Eminence, as 
the Black Spider and a host of like names, all of 
which are undoubtedly as expressive and as char- 
acteristic of the man as his own real name Shtirbey. 
In the old Roumanian language it means "The Ex- 

Prince Shtirbey is a descendant of one of the 
Fanariot rulers of Roumania. The history of his 
ancestors is not more savory than that of the present 
incumbent of the title. Of Greek and Turkish 
blood, he possesses to an equal degree the cunning of 
one and the cruelty of the other. 

Tall, dark, almost too dark for a European, as 
quick in his movements as a cat, he can remain for 
hours coiled upon himself in perfect deliberate still- 
ness before he throws out his paw. He never misses 


his aim. In the years of his secret rule of Roumania 
he has never missed any of his victims. No man 
who has opposed him has come out of the encounter 
whole and alive. He has gorged himself with the 
blood of a whole people and remains lean, alert 
and thirsty for more. 

He was the under cover ruler of Roumania even 
while old King Carol was alive and on the throne, 
Even Carol was afraid of him. 

Shtirbey had no official function. He was merely 
one of old King Carol's business advisors. As such 
he laid the foundation of the fortunes of the Hohen- 
zollerns; without neglecting his own. He was a 
comparatively poor man when he first entered the 
gates of the royal palace. He emerged from there 
one of the wealthiest men of the Balkan peninsula. 
Though he belonged to no political party he was 
affiliated with the Liberals. The opposition party, 
the Conservatives, never dared to oppose him or de- 
nounce him; either when in or out of power. For 
a single word of his to the King would have been 
sufficient to change the political situation. The two 
old political parties existed only to serve the King. 
They governed so as to profit him best. 

Though younger in years than his King, Shtirbey 
dominated him. He held the purse strings. The 
financial affairs of the King were in his hands. It 
was Shtirbey who ordered that inhuman, unheard 



of suppression of the agrarian rebellion of 1907, just 
as he had ordered other suppressions and oppressions 
in Roumania. He had the same contempt for the 
Roumanian people as his ancestors had had and as 
King Carol of Hohenzollern had. No official in 
Roumania has ever regarded himself as the servant 
of the people. The people are the servants of the 
officials from the village constable to the King. 

He had started out early in life, Prince Shtirbey, 
to lay the foundation for his power. He welded 
himself, by marriage, to the powerful Bratianu 
family and began to administer their business affairs 
while administering those of the King and his own. 
The power an unscrupulous man could gather in 
his fists, with such powerful alliances and with such 
wealth at his disposal, can hardly be surmised. 
Under Shtirbey Roumania was a country of serfs 
and servile politicians. 

No one dared say a word against him no one 
dared to protest. Until recently one could have lived 
for years in Roumania without ever hearing his 
name mentioned anywhere; though it was on every- 
one's lips and in everyone's mind. An opposition 
newspaper once published a caricature of him, with- 
out mentioning his name, but a line underneath, 
which read, "The Real Ruler of Roumania." 

What happened to the caricaturist, to the owner 
of the paper and to the paper itself is too long a 


tale; and too many living persons are involved in it 
for the tale to be told now. I reserve that privilege 
for myself for some other date. 

Though Queen Marie was very young when she 
came to Roumania as the wife of Prince Ferdinand 
of Hohenzollern, it did not take her long to dis- 
cover who the real ruler of Roumania was. As the 
daughter of the second son of Queen Victoria she 
was familiar with court intrigues and court tech- 
nique. It did not take her long to come to the con- 
clusion that it would be to her advantage to ally 
herself with the most powerful man in the country. 
Prince Shtirbey also realized that it was to his ad- 
vantage, and to the advantage of his family, to ally 
himself with the young "English Princess" as Marie 
was known in Roumania. Business acumen, more 
than mutual sympathy, brought the two together. 
Their well-known friendship was based on the busi- 
ness partnership necessary between them. And 
Queen Marie of Roumania is primarily a business 
woman. She has subordinated all her other feelings, 
if she had any, to her dollar chasing activities. 

Once Marie had made up her mind to stay in 
Roumania, she began to think of her private for- 
tune, which under the circumstances was also the 
private fortune of her husband, the Prince, heir to 
the throne. 

It is unfortunate that because of pomp and false 



dignity, crowned heads are not supposed to occupy 
themselves with business transactions. It is unfor- 
tunate that they should always need someone be- 
tween themselves and the person or organization 
with whom they are dealing. I fancy that Marie, 
who loves shopkeeping and business, would have 
liked nothing better than to step forward on the 
mart behind the counter and hand out her own 
wares. But it could not be done as openly as that, 
and so the reins of the business affairs of Prince 
Ferdinand and Queen Marie were also placed in 
Prince Shtirbey's firm hands. 

Making himself both useful and agreeable, Shtir- 
bey gained such ascendency over Prince Ferdinand, 
that the heir to the throne did not dare to whisper 
a word against him, and refused to listen to the 
gossip that linked the Dark Prince with his wife. 
The Prince's whole fortune was in the hands of the 
man who ridiculed his name. Had he protested or 
said an unpleasant word, Shtirbey could have im- 
poverished him with one stroke; for it was one of 
the tricks of the Dark Prince to dominate and keep 
under his thumb those whom he enriched. 

That Shtirbey handled his financial job well is 
evidenced by the fact that on the death of King 
Ferdinand, despite the hardships and vicissitudes 
through which Roumania had passed, the personal 
fortune of the Hohenzollerns had been augmented 



by over seventy-eight million dollars. King Carol, 
too, had left a considerable fortune owing to the 
magnificent administration of his adviser, but it was 
only half the size of that of King Ferdinand. 

Shtirbey's Machiavellian mind conceived the 
grand plan that would have given Marie the great- 
est power any woman ever had in the East of 
Europe. That these plans miscarried, was not Shtir- 
bey's fault. Unforeseen circumstances had inter- 
fered. The echo of the shot in Saravejo shattered 
many another brittle pane. It was a simple plan. 
It said to Marie, 

"Bear children." 

One of them was destined to be heir to the throne/ 
A second one was to marry into the Russian 
Romanoff house. A third was to enter the Bulgarian 
household. A fourth was to crawl into a German 
bed. A fifth one would storm Greece. y If she bore 
more, they were to be married into other royal house- 
holds. A clever politician once said that Europe had 
no statesman whose brain could offset the workings 
of Marie's womb. 

That Marie became the most feared matchmaker 
of Europe was undoubtedly due to Prince Shtirbey's 
advice. Neither of them could foresee that the 
Romanoffs would lose their throne and their lives 
and that the Greeks would decide to rid themselves 
of their King. Marie's most favored daughter is a 


has-been Queen; the wife of the former King of 
Greece. Her least favored daughter is a Queen in 
action Queen Marie of Jugoslavia. 

Prince Shtirbey lives in Oriental splendor in a 
most magnificent castle which he has built for him- 
self in the immediate vicinity of the city of 
Bucharest. The property, surrounded by high stone 
walls, hides and isolates a castle that is set like a 
jewel in the center of the grounds. Paths lined with 
flowers and rare trees converge towards a road that 
runs all around the inside of the wall. Sentinels are 
posted at every gate and no one is allowed to pass 
the portals without the signed and countersigned 
permission of the Prince himself. 

In the summer the Prince and his family live in 
an equally beautiful castle in Sinaia, at the foot of 
the Carpathian mountains; within the same distance 
of the Royal summer palace as the Bucharest castle 
is from the Royal winter palace. 

The Shtirbeys are not ostentatious people and pre- 
fer to live isolated and in the dark. The Prince's 
hosts of daughters are seldom seen anywhere and 
his wife is an even rarer privilege for the eye. They 
travel in closed automobiles and conveyances. 
Prince Shtirbey has never arrived at the royal castle 
otherwise than in an automobile of which the cur- 
tains were drawn. It is a fact that his blinded auto- 
mobile has frequently gone empty to the palace and 



was followed by Shtirbey in another car; whenever 
he was afraid that something might happen to him. 

At the beginning of Shtirbey's friendship with 
Marie the more astute Roumanians smiled. They 
believed that the English Princess was making her- 
self agreeable to Shtirbey only to make herself secure 
in the country. They believed she did not know he 
was the most hated man of Roumania. They be- 
lieved that she merely wanted to steal one of Carol's 
friends; for it was known that King Carol had never 
liked the English Princess any better than he liked 
the future incumbent of his throne. 

When it became evident that Prince Shtirbey was 
also administering Ferdinand's fortune, when sev- 
eral transactions had netted the heir to the throne 
several millions of dollars, the Roumanians awoke 
to the fact that the English Princess had indeed dis- 
covered how to make use of the shrewdest business 
man in Roumania. Yet it was not suspected, and no 
one wanted to believe, that an English Princess 
would slide into a closer friendship, into a closer alli- 
ance, with the man so thoroughly hated by the 
country. The Roumanians still had illusions about 
the dignity of Kings and Queens. 

In a small country such as Roumania was then, 
court gossip traveled fast. Had Marie taken every 
precaution to keep her relations with Shtirbey a se- 
cret, they could not have remained so for any length 



of time. But, either because she lacks discretion, or 
because she wanted the Roumanians to be afraid of 
her, Marie threw caution and discretion and dignity 
to the winds. Even the secret meeting places of the 
two became known to everyone. It is no longer a 
secret to the world at large, since it has appeared 
in the public prints, that Prince Shtirbey had his 
private entrance to the Queen's apartment to her 
boudoir, and that he used it as frequently and as 
openly as he pleased, even more frequently than did 
her husband, the King. And no one dared to pro- 
test no one dared to say a word. Everybody was 
afraid to antagonize the Rasputin of Roumania. 
Whoever would have protested against the Queen's 
indiscretions would naturally have involved him. It 
would have meant ruin if not something more. To 
antagonize Marie was to antagonize Shtirbey, the 
whole Bratianu family, the banks, the army, all the 
civil, municipal and military organizations of the 

One of the former ladies-in-waiting to the Queen 
has recently told the story of what she believes to 
have been the first meeting between Marie's oldest 
son, Carol, the present King, and Prince Shtirbey. 

Carol was still in his teens, in the care of tutors 
and governesses. Marie, having been away with 
Prince Shtirbey for some time, had suddenly decided 
that she wanted to see her son for this astute and 



unscrupulous woman is also very sentimental and 
has occasional unexpected melodramatic outbursts. 
She can cry out "chi-ild" as histrionically as the best 
old-fashioned Drury Lane actress. Prince Shtirbey 
accompanied her on that visit to the nursery. The 
two arrived at the summer palace in a pouring rain. 
In those days the automobile had not yet come into 
general use in Roumania, and Prince Shtirbey and 
Marie had driven there in an open carriage. They 
were drenched to the skin when they reached the 
palace. It was late in the evening, time for the child 
to be put to bed, and Marie was anxious to kiss him 
good-night. The mother gave free play to her 
emotions, embracing and pressing the child to her 
breast. Remembering Prince Shtirbey, who stood 
behind her near the door, she called His Highness 
over to introduce him to the young Prince. 

Instinctively, Carol withdrew and refused to shake 
hands with the Dark Prince; told him that he was 
cold; that he did not like him and began to cry and 
stamp his feet, ordering the "bad man" to leave the 
room immediately, crying that he did not want to 
see that man again. Carol begged his mother to 
stay there and not to go out with "that man" in 
the dark. 

This incident imprinted itself indelibly on the 
mind of Carol's governess and also in the minds of 
Carol's mother and Prince Shtirbey. The mutual 



antagonism of the two began there and then and has 
been unrelenting for almost a quarter of a century. 
Marie ordered Carol punished for his bad behavior. 
Carol learned to know then and there that what- 
ever he was asked to do, and whatever he was for- 
bidden to do, was ordered by Prince Shtirbey; and 
was therefore inclined to do the very opposite of 
that man's will. 

Prince Shtirbey realized that, though he could 
keep everybody else in leash, that blonde little boy 
watched him closely and was ready to spring on him 
at the first opportunity. And it happened that that 
blonde little boy was the future heir to the throne. 
If events were to follow in their natural order, 
Shtirbey had reason to believe that he would no 
longer be among the living when that little boy 
would ascend the throne, for King Carol was still 
alive and Prince Ferdinand was still alive. But 
Shtirbey, who adores his own family, was anxious 
for its financial future. 

In the course of the following years, Shtirbey left 
very little undone to prevent Prince Carol's eventual 
ascension to the throne. That those major plans of 
the Black Prince and the Queen Mother have mis- 
carried so far, cannot be held against them. 

Shtirbey, with the help of Marie, inveigled Carol 
into all sorts of unsavory relations with women. 
Shtirbey caused the great rift between mother and 



son. Shtirbey first instigated, and then broke, 
Carol's marriage to Zizi Lambrino. Shtirbey made 
Carol ridiculous before the country and before the 
whole world by announcing the scandals which he 
himself instigated. Sttirbey's machinations involved 
Carol with other women after he was married to 
Princess Helen of Greece, and ultimately entangled 
him with Magda Lupescu. It was Shtirbey who put 
the heir to the throne in the position of appearing 
as a deserter from the army, as an embezzler, and 
a runaway husband. It was Shtirbey's man, Dia- 
mandi, who involved Carol in a conspiracy to obtain 
the Hungarian throne for himself, and then de- 
nounced him to the country as an enemy. Later on, 
when the exiled prince, longing for his throne, had 
made arrangements to fly from Croydon, the air 
field near London, to Roumania, it was again Shtir- 
bey's man, that same Diamandi, who had been 
nominated to the post of Roumanian ambassador to 
France, who had the ex-heir to the throne publicly 
and officially thrown out of England as an unde- 
sirable alien, with Scotland Yard detectives at his 

As the Dark Prince grew older, Queen Marie, 
despite her frequent enthusiasms for other men, con- 
tinued her relations with the Rasputin of Rou- 
mania. Her growing children talked openly and 
sarcastically about their mother's affairs. After 



Marie had firmly entrenched herself in Roumania, 
even before she had become Queen, and of course 
more so afterwards, the royal palace became the 
center of every kind of unsavory amour and in- 
trigue, in which the princes, the princesses, the 
ladies-in-waiting, the young officers and their friends 
took part. Of all the children of the royal house- 
hold, Mignon, or Marie, as she calls herself now 
since she is Queen of Jugoslavia, was the only one 
who never entered into these scandals. Even as a 
child she openly and loudly denounced and up- 
braided her mother for her behavior, and because of 
that was persecuted by her. 

Marie never brought her any presents when re- 
turning from her travels. Mignon was always the 
most poorly dressed member of the family. At pub- 
lic functions she was pushed behind, out of sight, 
while Ileana, the youngest one, was always more 
favored than the others. 

Ileana has always been a close friend of her 
mother's. She traveled with the Queen and never 
showed any objection to Shtirbey; though she did 
talk of him as frequently as the rest of the family. 
Carol, Nicholas, Elizabeth and Mignon called him 
"The Black Devil." Ileana alone called him 
"Mama's Friend." 

Shtirbey never forgot to show his attentions to 
Ileana, but then, her paternity has been a much dis- 
puted point. No one ever dared to speak openly 



about that until Mignon referred to her sister as 
Mile. Shtirbey. 

"Why does mother tramp around the world in 
the company of that Mile. Shtirbey?" Queen Marie 
of Jugoslavia said to newspaper reporters who had 
come to interview her. 

Under such circumstances and in such a milieu 
it is not difficult to understand why each one of 
Marie's children had eventually gotten himself or 
herself entangled in affairs that did not in the least 
heighten the dignity of the Royal Household of 
Roumania. Extra-marital amours became the style 
in the best families of the country. "She plays the 
Queen," "She plays the princess/' obtained definite 
connotations in the Roumanian language. 

And Ferdinand, Marie's husband? Ferdinand 
was a complacent fool. He had never been in love 
with Marie and was not concerned with what she 
did, and whom she befriended, as long as he was 
left in peace; as long as his fortune grew, as long 
as he was permitted to play as he wanted to play and 
to keep vigil over his whiskey bottle. In his old age 
he sat at the window of the palace and leered at the 
passing women. 


In 1925, the antagonism between Carol, heir to the 
throne now, and Shtirbey, had become such that the 
whole country was agog expecting something to 
break out. 



Carol, who wavered between Fascism and the 
Peasant Party, encouraged the opposition to protest 
openly and loudly against the machinations and in- 
trigues of his enemy and the enemy of the country. 
He caused to be made, under his supervision, a 
thorough investigation into all the ramifications of 
the Black Prince's affairs. He investigated closely 
the Shtirbeys, the Bratianus and their minions, and 
collected the facts, black on white, of how horribly 
they had betrayed the country; how nearly they had 
brought it to ruin, how destructive their influence 
had been, and how they had enriched themselves 
at the expense of the Roumanian people. Still, his 
closest friends did not dare to join him in the fight 
against the Grey Eminence. The Roumanian peas- 
ant is a brave soldier. The Roumanian statesmen 
are moral cowards. 

Carol went to his father, the King of Roumania, 
and denounced the man and his mother to him. 
The King would not listen. He was sick. He was 
weak. He was disgusted with life. He suffered 
untold physical agonies. When he was made to 
listen to his impetuous son, he merely shook his 
head, and told Carol not to meddle in affairs that 
did not concern him. When Carol persisted he 
answered that it was unnatural in a son so to de- 
nounce his mother, and asked him to leave the 



On the eve of Prince Carol's departure for Lon- 
don, to represent his country at the funeral of the 
Queen Mother Alexandra, he burst unannounced 
into his mother's apartment, where Prince Shtirbey 
had made himself at home. Leaving the doors 
open so that everyone should hear what he said, 
Carol began to arraign the Prince and read off to 
him the list of his misdeeds and crimes. 

Shtirbey listened smilingly, without saying a word. 

The Queen arose in wrath and ordered her son to 
stop. Carol, raising his voice louder, told her that 
her turn had not yet come. When he was through 
with the Prince, he turned on his mother. In un- 
mistakable words the son told his mother what he 
thought of her and what he knew of her behavior, 
of her enthusiasm for this and that and the other 
man, and upbraided her especially for her relations 
with the man hated by the whole country; the man 
responsible for the poverty of the people and for 
the ruin of Roumanian commerce and agriculture. 
Carol told her what the people thought of her scan- 
dal and how ridiculous she had made herself in the 
eyes of the world, and how conspicuous she had 
made the whole Royal household. It was Carol who 
first used the words: "The Roumanian household 
is a musical comedy household." 

Shtirbey interrupted the future heir to the throne's 
diatribe and remarked sarcastically that it behooved 



the young man ill to use such language, since he 
himself had not been above reproach. 

Carol ordered Shtirbey to keep still. 

"I am talking to my mother." 

Shtirbey rose to the defense of Marie, and re- 
minded His Highness that he had on^e married a 
commoner's daughter and had deserted in the face 
of the enemy and in full war regalia. Shtirbey used 
the same horrible word with which Carol had stig- 
matized his mother, to the address of Zizi Lambrino. 
Truck drivers in a jam had never used more pic- 
turesque language than was employed at that noble 

They were talking in such loud voices that valets, 
ladies-in-waiting, chambermaids and the whole 
retinue of servants in the Royal Palace were about 
the doors. 

They all sided with the Prince and against his 
mother. Each one of them chafed under the rule 
of Shtirbey. Each one of them had been expecting 
that that terrible moment would arrive. Had Carol 
used his sword or his pistol then, no voice would 
have been raised against him. He would have been 
hoisted on the throne as the liberator of the country. 
# # # # # 

In addition to his other charms and his other 
means of subjugation, Prince Shtirbey had for a 
long time preyed upon Queen Marie's superstitious 



mind. A charlatan Seer had predicted to the Queen 
that Carol would not wear the crown. That 
charlatan appeared frequently at the palace and cried 
aloud his dreams and his visions, until the whole 
household was convinced that another one and not 
Carol would be King o Roumania. 

There are people who doubt that Marie is super- 
stitious enough to believe in dreams and visions. 
These people are certain that it was Shtirbey's 
diabolic manner of preying upon the superstitions of 
others; that it was one of the weapons he used to 
make the Roumanians believe that it was ordained 
by invisible powers that Carol should not reign. 
There are enough fools in Roumania who still be- 
lieve in sorcery. They were told that Carol could 
supersede these powers only by employing more 
dreadful ones, the powers of darkness. 

Shtirbey had no sooner applied that horrible name 
to Zizi Lambrino when the three disputants in the 
Queen's boudoir became suddenly quiet. And then, 
leaping forward, Marie's son struck out with his fist 
at the face of the man who had insulted the one 
woman he had really loved. The hubbub which fol- 
lowed, Marie's screams, the screams of Carol's sisters 
and brother, who had come running from their 
quarters, was heard outside the palace. Shtirbey 



drew his sword. The Queen's apartment filled with 
people. Shtirbey was held back. Carol was kept 
away from him with great difficulty. 

Leaving his mother's boudoir, the Prince heir ran 
to his father again and repeated with even more pre- 
cision and growing vehemence, what he had told 
him before. King Ferdinand, too ill to quarrel, and 
too far in his cups even to understand fully what 
was being said to him, shook his head dolefully. 
Carol cried out in passion: 

"You have to choose now between them and me. 
Either they stay here or I stay here. There is no 
room for all of us. If I get out, woe to them and 
woe to all of you." 

Ferdinand ordered him out of the room. 

Shtirbey won that battle, Shtirbey and Marie. 

That outburst of Carol's, the fact that he had dared 
to hit the man everybody hated, established him 
definitely in the hearts of the people and laid the 
foundation for his return to the throne he had abdi- 
cated several times. 

The epithet which Carol had hurled at his mother 
became the nickname by which she was referred to 
by those who dared more and more to whisper that 
the affairs of their Queen and the Black Prince 
were odious to them. When, in the course of 
troubled political affairs, the Bratianus made Prince 
Shtirbey Prime Minister for a short time, until they 


could rearrange the situation, the whole country 
rose as one man against the impudence. The press 
and those of the Liberals who still knew what shame 
was and had some blood in their veins, denounced 
the new government. Shtirbey's name began to ap- 
pear in print. People said that they would not ac- 
cept the government of the interloper; that they had 
suffered enough, but would refuse to be made 
ridiculous, to be shown up as being so boneless and 
servile as to accept the greatest of all humiliations. 
They cried: 

"We have had enough. For twenty-five years he 
has ruled behind the throne. For twenty-five years 
he has exploited us. Let him rule behind thrones 
and exploit us as much as he can, but he must not 
do it openly." 

Others cried: "Let the Queen divorce her hus- 
band, marry Shtirbey and try to rule Roumania with 

The Shtirbey government lasted but a short time. 
It was only an interim cabinet, until other minions 
of the Bratianu Party were put in power. However, 
that "impudence" cost the Liberal Party its power. 
It had dared too much. The Peasant Party would 
never have come into power had the Liberals not 
committed the unforgivable sin of trying to impose 
the Queen's friend upon die people. 



IL.N old Japanese story sum- 
marizes better than any other story or philosophy, 
the responsibility that weighs upon every teacher. 

Whenever one of Bushido's, the Japanese school 
teacher's, pupils did something wrong, he would 
take a heavy whip and lash his own body to punish 
himself for being a bad teacher. The number of 
lashes depended on the degree of the wrong a pupil 
had committed. 

King Carol has had many teachers beside his 
father and his mother. Professor Nicholas Jorga, 
however, was his private tutor. Considering how 
the Royal household lived, one has no right to ex- 
pect from any member of that family sensitiveness 
as fine as that of the Japanese teacher. 

It is unfortunate for Roumania that no one worthy 
was strong enough to assume -the rights of tutor- 
ship to the Prince heir while there was yet time. 
The parental roof over the present King Carol was 
not designed to hold under it an exemplary child. 
Queen Marie was an irresponsible meddling scold, 



King Ferdinand was a weakling. Had Carol not 
been a Prince, society would have had the right to 
deprive him of parental influence and educate him 
in one of its orphanages. 

Of Professor Nicholas Jorga, the tutor to a future 
King, it is known that the gentleman's political affil- 
iations were and are as volatile as Marie's affairs of 
the heart. Jorga has belonged to every party that 
needed him. He is a great orator, a bombastic ora- 
tor. He can wave the flag with great flourishes. 
Once when Professor Jorga attacked the Liberal 
Party, Bratianu's press answered, "We have used you 
when we have needed you, Mr. Jorga. We hope 
never to have such need again. Yet we harbor no 
doubt that your readiness to change your political 
creed depends entirely on how much we shall offer." 
So much for Jorga's political honesty. 

No one has ever been in a room with Professor 
Jorga for five minutes without hearing at least one 
salty Rabelaisian story. He invents them. He tells 
them. He writes them. His epigrams on love, nor- 
mal and otherwise, have entered the language of a 
certain class of Roumanians. His epigram on Dia- 
mandi's degeneracy is a classic. 

Tall, handsome, a great orator, Jorga has been 
burdened with reputations. He was born with them. 



He has been a Liberal, an anti-Semite, and a leader 
of the Peasant Party. He is a publicist, a belle let- 
trist, a dramatist, a lecturer. He is the dean of the 
Roumanian Universities* He has taught history for 
a number of years. He writes editorials for his news- 
paper at breakfast, finishes a play before the noon 
hour, speaks in parliament in the afternoon, has the 
play produced that same night, writes a serious 
treatise on history while riding home from the 
theatre, has the magnum opus published the follow- 
ing day, forgets about it before the sun has set, and 
begins the rounds again. His "Historical Works" 
are spread over two hundred volumes of ten to 
fifteen pages each. 

It is idle to charge Carol's volatility entirely to the 
influence of his tutor, when one considers his 
heredity and environment, yet there can be no doubt 
that Professor Jorga has not been the ideal person to 
check his pupil's tendencies toward the frivolous; 
he has undoubtedly encouraged them. He has a 
lusty feeling for the good things of life, Jorga has, 
and does not hesitate long between a well roasted 
duck and a theory of life, between a handsome 
woman and the destinies of a country. The Parisian 
boulevards know him better than the culture hunters 
at the lecture halls of the Sorbonne. 

Before Carol was fifteen, he had been initiated into 


the pleasures of feminine charms. Unscrupulous 
and irresistible, there wasn't a pretty actress or singer 
whom he did not fete and court. Queen Marie was 
amused by her son's amorous activity when the 
gossip at court began to name this and that lady of 
honour as one of her son's new conquests. 

Whenever Carol emerged victorious from an en- 
counter with an invincible lady, Marie considered it 
a feather in her own cap. 

When King Ferdinand protested about his son's 
behavior, Marie came to Carol's defense. Fer- 
dinand's long illness had made him forget that he 
had himself succumbed, as youth will succumb, to 
Bucharest's tolerant attitude toward sexual affairs. 
Marie was much more tolerant than the King. She 
was young and full blooded and was not as squeam- 
ish as he was. True, she counselled discretion but 
then Carol's mother's cautioning discretion was 
not to be taken seriously. 

When Carol was brought before the royal pair 
and a room full of counsellors to account for a par- 
ticularly loud and indiscreet party with several 
young ladies of the Bucharest National Theatre, a 
party at which much champagne had been drunk 
and both Carol's male and female companions had 
been unusually boisterous, the young Prince defended 
himself saying that he was no worse than a hundred 
' 69 


other young men and much older men in Bucharest. 
That shaft had a barb; one of the statesmen present 
was the protector of one of the ladies involved. 

Instead of denying that he had participated in the 
party, or putting forth some alibi, Carol answered 
to the admonitions of his parents that he was 
through with bowing under reprimands. He was no 
longer a boy. He was seventeen. He was a man. 

The King was amazed at his son's insolence. 
Queen Marie was amused. She winked at her royal 
husband, dismissed the Prince, saying loudly enough 
for him to hear: "II faut bien que jeunesse s'amuse." 
Youth must have its fling. 

The party Prince Carol threw, a few nights after 
that scene with his parents, was even more boisterous 
than the preceding one. It was not only a merry 
party, it was an answer to those who had called him 
to account. 

Prince Shtirbey watched over those parties and 
encouraged them secretly. 

Before he was twenty, Prince Carol began to weary 
of the easy conquests he was making. Bucharest 
whispered, through loud-speakers, that the heir to 
the throne had grown tired of all women. 

Later on, Carol's eyes fell on Mile. Jeanne Lam- 
brino, "Zizi," one of his mother's young ladies-in- 
waiting. Mile. Lambrino is an indirect descendant 
of Prince Cuza, who reigned over Roumania be- 



tween 1836 and 1848. Zizi was only twenty and 
Carol was twenty-one when they met. Her resist- 
ance to his advances excited him. The tricks he had 
hitherto employed to win women were wasted on 
Mile. Lambrino. Though she was interested, she 
refused to fall into his trap and refused to become his 
mistress. She knew what that meant. She knew 
the fate of the discarded ladies. 

Carol neglected his gay friends and his occupa- 
tions and began to devote himself exclusively to the 
project of winning Zizi. 

Queen Marie winked at the suspected liaison be- 
tween her son and the young girl. When she was 
told that Zizi Lambrino was not succumbing to her 
son's advances, Marie began to fear that the young 
lady had plans a trifle more ambitious than to be- 
come the Prince's favorite of the moment. 

The petty persecutions to which Zizi was subjected 
and which she related to Prince Carol without un- 
derstanding the underlying motives wove the two 
youngsters more closely together. What would have 
been a passing affair, as unimportant as other affairs 
in Carol's life, was fanned by resistance and petty 
persecutions to assume the proportions of a con- 
flagration. Carol, who had set out for an amorous 
moment, was soon enmeshed in the nets of a serious 
love. He respected Zizi the more because she had 
not fallen an easy prey to his early desires. Men who 


believe themselves irresistible are the prey of their 
own egotism when they meet a scheming woman. 
And Zizi was that. She was out for "all or nothing.*' 
Shtirbey had encouraged her secretly. 

Roumania's entrance into the great war separated 
for a time the two young lovers. The Prince left 
for the battle front. Of his ability and capacity as 
an officer, and the great things he accomplished in 
the war, I take as witness the words of General 
Averescu. He wrote: 

"On the 29th of October, 1916, I received the 
order to withdraw from the Valley of Prahova. We 
were all downcast and heartbroken. We were with- 
drawing before the onslaught of the enemy and 
we were getting ready for the battle before Bucha- 
rest. The sky was lighted by the fires of the oil 
wells which we had ignited. The army was with- 
drawing, fighting continually. At nine o'clock in 
the evening I found the Prince heir with his friends, 
heads of army corps, still at table in the mess hall. 
I told him the soldiers were without officers, that 
they must all go immediately to their posts. The 
Prince refused to go and refused to let his com- 
panions go. At two o'clock in the morning he and 
they were still drinking, carousing, while the 
enemies' advance guard was but twenty miles away. 



... He has sullied everything he has touched; honor, 

Towards the fall of 1917 the Roumanian army 
had been rolled back by the Mackensen forces. The 
territory not yet in the enemy's hands was but a 
small corner of Moldavia. The royal court had been 
moved from Bucharest to Jassy. Mile. Lambrino 
and her father. General Lambrino, were there. 
Carol was also in Jassy. 

King Ferdinand was anxious to make a separate 
peace with the enemy. Queen Marie opposed him. 
She staked all to win everything. Seven-tenths of 
the country was under the heels of the Germans. 
The remaining three-tenths was suffering under the 
even more oppressive rule and the debauchery of the 
Russians, the supposed allies of Roumania. The 
worm of disintegration had already eaten into the 
hearts of the Muscovite troops. They treated Mol- 
davia worse than they would have treated conquered 
territory. The Russian soldiers killed their officers 
and robbed and raped the inhabitants. 

Carol, concerned only with the progress of his 
affair with Zizi Lambrino, took no interest in what 
was .going on around him. The Queen was treading 
rather softly just then; for the Roumanians now re- 
proached her for inveigling them into a struggle 
from which they had no hope of emerging vic- 
torious. The cannons France sent to Roumania by 



way of Russia, were never delivered to the Rou- 
manian army. The debacle of its soldiery was due 
in part at least to the absence of the artillery 
promised, but which had never arrived. Soldiers 
and officers deserted to the enemy in groups of hun- 
dreds and thousands. The whole of the army was 
ready to pass over to the enemy, but the Germans 
were not ready to receive them, and would not have 
known what to do with them had they come 
over. The Germans had enough prisoners to feed 

I am copying here a note of one of the German 
generals to his subordinate. 

"Accept no Roumanian prisoners. We must con- 
sider that three of these deserters consume as much 
food as one of our own soldiers. Food is not over- 
plentiful right now and not easy to transport." 

At the beginning of 1918 Russia had veered 
around and changed her status from ally to enemy; 
to Roumania and to her other allies. 

Prince Carol deserted his own army. In the guise 
of a Russian officer, he crossed, with Zizi Lambrino, 
into enemy country, and had himself married to 
her at a church in Odessa. 

All Queen Marie had to say on the subject was: 

"Mile. Lambrino is both intelligent and am- 



She had not one word to say about the young 
lady's virtues. 

Carol's defense was that, before deserting, he had 
warned his father that he was anxious to renounce 
the Roumanian throne and marry the young lady; 
that he had told his father that he was disgusted 
with Roumanian politicians and statesmen. 

Long before Mussolini had proclaimed his credo, 
this young Prince had reached conclusions similar 
to those of the large-eyed Italian dictator. A coun- 
try, Carol maintained, had to be ruled by one strong 
man, with the help of twelve willing men ap- 
pointed by a dictator. The fact that he was dis- 
gusted with the throne and that he longed to be 
away from the tutelage of his mother, decided Carol 
to desert the army, abandon his country and marry 
the woman he loved, on foreign territory, "under 
the protection of the bayonets of his enemies of 
yesterday." (Ferdinand's letter to his son.) 

In due time, however, not because of filial affec- 
tion, but because of financial necessity, Prince Carol 
consented to come back to Roumania with his 
morganatic bride, who was about to become a 

Once on Roumanian territory he was made a 
prisoner. While imprisoned the clique tried to 
poison his mind with tales of Zizi Lambrino's pre- 



vious love affairs. They showed him proofs, docu- 
ments and photographs, to prove that the young 
lady was not over-faithful to him even then, while 
he was in jail. 

Carol knew too much of the machinations of the 
Roumanian secret service to believe what they told 
him. He continued to send protestations of love to 
Zizi Lambrino. 

"I am your husband. I am the father of your 
child. Whatever happens, I will know how to 
shoulder my responsibilities." 

Meanwhile the German army had been defeated 
on the west and was withdrawing hastily from the 
east The Roumanian court returned with pomp 
and fanfare to Bucharest 

This turn in the affairs of Roumania contributed 
to Carol's change of attitude towards the woman he 
had proclaimed far and wide as his legal wife. What 
contributed, more than arguments and political as- 
pects, to this change of heart, was Queen Marie's 
understanding of her son. She placed other women 
in his path. She knew how incapable he was of 
abstinence despite his protestations of love. The 
most beautiful, charming and experienced courtesans 
were thrown in his way. 

When his resistance had weakened, he was intro- 
duced to Princess Helen of Greece, daughter of 
Constantine, the Greek King. She accepted him. 


She was forced to accept him. Carol was not a hus- 
band he was a political alliance. 

In a letter, the last one which Carol sent to Zizi 
Lambrino, he wrote that his marriage to the Princess 
was only a formality. He added, however, that his 
fiancee "has considerable understanding for my bat- 
tered heart and shares completely my views on life." 

Princess Helen gave birth to a son less than seven 
months after she was married to the Prince. The 
marriage was obviously much more than a mere 
formality. But to prove that she did share Carol's 
views on life, and perhaps also Queen Marie's, Zizi 
Lambrino was received, a welcome guest, at the 
Prince's household even after his marriage. Court 
officials, diplomats and statesmen bowed low and ad- 
dressed her as Princess, a designation to which she 
was not officially entitled. 

Where else but in this musical comedy royal 
household would such a thing have been possible? 

During the Zizi Lambrino-Carol scandal, which 
pierced through into the world press despite the 
loud booming of the cannons, Professor Jorga had to 
listen to very vivid reproaches from the Liberals and 
the Bratianus. The Zizi Lambrino episode was not 
Unwelcome to some Roumanian statesmen, Shtirbey 
and Bratianu included, who were planning to rid 
themselves of the Hohenzollern family. King 
Ferdinand was but a pawn in their hands. He 



signed decrees, letters, documents and read messages 
from the throne. To Queen Marie the Zizi Lam- 
brino incident was a careless move in the checker 
game she was playing a move which compelled her 
to rearrange her figures for the battle. As far as 
she was concerned, the affair had as many advan- 
tages as disadvantages. It delivered Carol into her 
hands, and stopped him from censoring her be- 
havior. Carol was a weapon which she could wield 
against political adversaries, against Bratianu and 
even against Shtirbey, who had become more ar- 
rogant than she had believed even he could be. 

By his environment Carol was taught that a man's 
ability, position and opinions had to be marshalled 
to serve his ambitions and his desire for power. 
His own inclinations and the tutoring of Professor 
Nicholas Jorga had taught Carol that a man ought 
to marshal the power at his disposition, the intrigues 
of which he had knowledge, and the intrigues which 
he could set in motion, to serve his lust and satisfy 
his desires. 

Carol rises in defence of the old feudal traditions 
and rights of kings; yet he believes that even consti- 
tutional monarchy is not democratic enough for this 
age and century. He reverses himself occasionally 
and claims to be a fascisti of the Fascisti; a man 
who believes in government by order and ap- 



His principles and theories are under his feet when 
he emerges as the lover, the man who cannot resist 
the temptation aroused by the passing of a pair of 
beautiful ankles, an alluring figure or a pair of 
promising eyes. 

In private conversations, Nicholas Jorga, an old 
man now, cries out vigorously: "He is a man! He 
is a man!" Ecce homo. 



JL HE European war had 
been foreseen a long time before, and was considered 
inevitable by most European statesmen. Roumania 
belonged to the Small Entente, and should have sent 
her army with the Austrians and Hungarians against 
the Allies. Yet it was known that Roumania would 
not hesitate to change her alliance if she thought to 
profit more by the new conditions presented to her. 
No state ever did carry out treaties except when con- 
venient or when forced to do so. Internally Rou- 
mania was amply prepared to take care of both sides 
of the question. She had one set of pro-German 
statesmen and another of pro- Ally. In case of failure 
one set could always throw the blame on the other. 
I have already told of the internal division of the 
royal household, of King Carol's and Prince Fer- 
dinand's pro-German tendencies and of Marie's and 
Bratianu's pro-Ally sympathies. The war had no 
sooner broken out than the Allies and the Germans 
began to court Roumania. German and French 



talions and sent in the first line of battle. Those 
who were not killed by the enemy were killed by 
the Roumanian soldiers in retreat. The order to the 
officers of the Roumanian army was: Kill the 
Jewish soldiers in your company. 

I will not speak here of those who were officially 
court-martialed nor shall I say a word of those who 
were killed in the prisons. The relatives of these 
Jewish men in the Roumanian army, mothers, 
younger brothers and sisters, were left prey to the 
basest instincts of the populace and the police who 
vented their triumph and their defeat in the most 
sadistic manner. 

The Jews were publicly beaten and imprisoned, 
then caused to disappear mysteriously. The Nor- 
wegian consul in Galatz, Rubenstein, who hap- 
pened to be a Jew, was arrested by mistake. When 
the Norwegian government intervened the authori- 
ties did not dare produce the prisoner. They an- 
nounced that he had committed suicide in his cell. 
Russian buyers, sent by the Russian government to 
Roumania, disappeared as mysteriously they and 
the money they had brought with them. To be 
arrested was equivalent to being taken out for execu- 
tion. Needless to say that the families were black- 
mailed over and over again. The ransomed men 
and women lived until more and more money was 
paid to the officials and their go-betweens. 



Neither King Ferdinand nor Queen Marie, nor 
the Bratianus were unaware of what was happening; 
for, protestation followed protestation. The United 
States government was informed of the facts. 
Though the American government investigated 
them, not a word was heard on the subject from 
that source. The King, the Queen, the Generals 
Averescu, Presan, Oprescu, Iliescu, the Bratianus and 
the Shtirbeys were all personally responsible for these 

While the Roumanian soldiers were on the front, 
advancing or retreating, this group stuffed its 
pockets, blackmailing the Jewish bankers and indus- 
trialists of the country and even the wealthy Jews of 
other countries, threatening to make the lot of the 
Jews in Roumania even worse if more money was 
not forthcoming. The Roumanians were Allies, and 
therefore immune from censure on the part of Eng- 
land and France. When a stronger voice made it- 
self heard the government answered that all the Jews 
were spies. 

When Mackensen had driven the Roumanian 
army back, and had followed their tracks with his 
heavy cannon into Bucharest, the set of Roumanian 
politicians who had sympathized with Germany 
came into the good graces of the invader. The Rou- 
manian army withdrew into Moldavia where the 
Roumanian generals who had been so ignominiously 



defeated by the Germans vented their ire and dis- 
appointment on the Jews again. 

Hundreds of them were killed by military order. 
Hundreds of them committed suicide in the jails. 
And thousands were being killed without any prov- 
ocation by the soldiers who had secret orders to do 
away with them. 

To the cries and the protestations of the Jewry of 
the world, the royal pair turned a deaf ear. They 
could not busy themselves with such unimportant 
matters while the war was going on. But they 
could amuse themselves in their own manner as 
they did at Cotafanesti. 

Cotafanesti is a charming isolated Moldavian vil- 
lage. During the retreat, the Roumanian general 
headquarters took possession of one of the largest 
houses in the town. The French officers who had 
come to help reorganize the Roumanian army occu- 
pied part of that house. The Roumanian ladies, of 
the better class, were then called upon to entertain 
the hard working French officers. There was plenty 
of champagne and good music, and the ladies were 
generous. The ladies-in-waiting of the royal house- 
hold were well represented at these parties, which 
continued night after night. And then the French- 
men became more exigent. Since the house was 
warm, and the champagne heating, they demanded 
that the young ladies should serve them in the nude. 


The ladies, most of them beautiful, gracefully ac- 
quiesced to the demands of the valiant officers. 
Night after night these orgies continued, while the 
cannons boomed and men groaned and shrieked 
and cried out in agony. 

Sentinels were posted all about the villa to see that 
no one disturbed the revelers. At first these sentinels 
were amused by the frolicking of their betters. In 
their cups, the noble ladies, nude, loved to come 
down to offer a little drink to one of the soldiers, and 
even dragged some of them into the parlor and 
ordered them to dance the national dances before 

Soon, however, these sentinels began to shake 
their heads dolefully. They had never believed such 
orgies possible, and thought therefore that their noble 
ladies princesses and daughters of eminent boyars, 
had gone mad. 

Then one of the sentinels, who had been dragged 
inside and had been assaulted by some of the ladies, 
told the others that these women were undoubtedly 
possessed by the devil. It was ungodly and inhuman 
to do the things they were doing. Each shot of the 
enemy's cannon was greeted by the revelers within 
with loud laughs of derision. When some of the 
panes in the windows had been shattered by the con- 
cussion, the French officers cried out in joy and the 
ladies clapped their hands. And then the sentinels 



came to the conclusion that only devils and people 
possessed by the devils would behave as those people 
did. They took the hay and the straw, the rations 
for their horses, piled them up around the entrances, 
soaked the whole thing with kerosene and set fire to 
the building. Fortunately or unfortunately, the rev- 
elers succeeded in escaping from the furnace-like 
fire, and ran out, gamboling nude on the fields and 
in the forests. 

The affair leaked out. The government was 
asked to investigate. The witnesses, the sentinels, 
were called and questioned closely. At the end of 
that investigation, not one of the sentinels remained 
alive to tell the tale again, and all but one of the 
participants of the Cotafanesti revelers are alive and 
just as frolicsome as ever. All but one; the hair of 
one of the ladies had been burned to the roots. 

The Roumanian Red Cross, headed by Queen 
Marie, did not accept any Jews. Yet when the en- 
zymatic typhoid fever broke out among the soldiers. 
the Jewish synagogues and schools were taken pos- 
session of by the Roumanian army and used as iso- 
lation camps for the sick soldiers. The Jewish sol- 
diers, however, who suffered from the same malady, 
were compelled to live in already overcrowded Jew- 
ish homes. This stupidly barbarous action, invented 
to kill Jews, rebounded upon the whole population 
of Roumania. More people died of enzymatic fever 
than of wounds and on the battlefield. 



Queen Marie appealed to the world, especially to 
the Jewish world, to help stem the disease among the 

It is unreasonable to credit the present King Carol 
with greater sympathy for the Jews than his tutor 
had or than his parents had, though he has been 
involved with many Jewish women in love affairs. 
There have already been a good many pogroms since 
his ascent to the throne. 

It can hardly be imagined that the anarchy which 
reigned in Moldavia while the Roumanian royal 
court was at Jassy could have caused in Carol that 
hopelessness which made him abandon the heirship 
to the throne and desert to the enemy to marry Zizi 
Lambrino. Many of his friends had deserted before 
him. General Soccec, Colonels Sturza, Jurescu and 
Crainiceanu had passed to the Germans with their 
entire regiments before that. 

When the Roumanians signed a separate peace 
treaty with the Germans in Bucharest, the German 
government exacted definite stipulations regarding 
the Jews. The Roumanians promised, knowing well 
that they would know how to get around their 
promises as soon as they were again masters of the 
country. Roumania had been beaten, disrupted, 
ruined. Its internal affairs were in a panic. Its 
treasury was empty, the Germans had taken away 


most of the railroads' rolling stock, had shipped 
out of the country the grain, the horses, the cows. 
Roumania was a barren land where everything had 
to be done anew. 

Did Queen Marie worry about that? She who 
later on pranced on a white charger, when the 
armistice was signed between the French and the 
Germans, was not downhearted by what had hap- 
pened to Roumania. She believed in the ultimate 
triumph of the Allies. She had great faith. She 
had not given up any of her activities or any of 
her pleasures during the war. She had beautified 
herself. She had invented a costume that fitted her 
well, that brought out the charm of her profile and 
hid her aging throat. Carol's desertion to the 
enemy, his morganatic marriage, were merely flies 
in the ointment, for she was actually in the throes 
of a new enthusiasm for a Canadian colonel who 
had become her slave. It is difficult to tell the exact 
date and the conditions under which Queen Marie 
met the mysterious Colonel Boyle. It is only known 
that he came from Canada, though some people still 
maintain that his real home was Alaska, and still 
others affirm that he was no colonel at all 

At any rate, Colonel Boyle superseded Shtirbey in 
the Queen's favor and became her steady attendant 
and emissary. Since the war was still on, Colonel 
Boyle began to be credited with all kinds of heroic 
adventures. An absolute stranger, who did not 



know a word of the Roumanian language, he was 
supposed to have fallen in love with all things Rou- 
manian. He saved hundreds, nay, thousands of 
Roumanians from the hands of the Bolsheviki. A 
Desperate Desmond come to life, he snatched 
women and children out of the claws of death and 
prisoners out of the encampments of the enemy. 
When he was not with Marie he was supposed to be 
on dangerous missions that required tact, discretion, 
energy and resourcefulness. No one knew exactly 
what these missions were, but Queen Marie assured 
everybody that her country could not exist without 
Boyle. He was a godsend. She even sent Colonel 
Boyle to Russia to speak to Carol when he had run 
away with Zizi Lambrino. That mission failed. 
Boyle, however, returned and assured everybody that 
not only would the future heir to the throne return 
to Roumania, but he would even give a plausible 
reason for having run away. 

When Marie grew tired of Boyle she began to 
send him out more frequently and on more danger- 
ous missions. After the death of the Russian czar, 
she sent Boyle to try to get for her sister, wife of 
the Grand Duke Kyril, the throne of Russia. That 
sister had once been the Duchess of Hesse and had 
divorced her husband to marry the Grand Duke 
Kyril. Her husband was therefore the nearest claim- 
ant to the vacant Russian throne. 

Boyle was also an aviator. He organized, or 


attempted to organize, the Roumanian aviation 
forces. He was not very successful in that, either, 
but he had earned a private plane. He was presently 
sent to the front occupied by Wrangel, the general 
fighting at the head of the White Russians to rein- 
state czardom in Russia. Boyle's mission was to 
find out when Duke Kyril would become Czar of 
all Russians, Boyle had a lot of pep. He could 
stimulate himself as well as he did others. He re- 
turned from the Wrangel front and announced to 
the Queen and to the world that Prussia's return to 
her senses was merely a question of months. 

After he had returned from the Wrangel front, 
the same Colonel Boyle was dispatched to Switzer- 
land to negotiate there the marriage between Prin- 
cess Elizabeth of Roumania and Prince George of 
Greece. That mission was crowned with success. 
The Greek King is still married to the Roumanian 
princess but he has lost his throne and lives in one 
of the smaller royal palaces at the expense of the 
Roumanian people. 

Six months after the separate peace had been 
signed by the Roumanians with the Germans, Ger- 
many was defeated by the allied armies. The Mar- 
ghiloman cabinet, which had signed that separate 
peace, was ignonimously dismissed and the Bra- 



tianus, the pro-Ally war cabinet, came back in great 
state. They had won the war. Yet even the Bra- 
tianus had a difficult task to make people forget how 
they had won the war. Even the Bratianus could 
not make the soldiers forget how they had been 
abandoned by their officers, how they had been made 
to face cannon with no artillery to back their forces, 
and how the enemy had devastated the country. 
Even the Bratianus could not make people forget 
that while they had been fighting, their noblemen 
and statesmen had amused and enriched themselves. 
The Cotafanesti affair had not been an exception. 
Those who had remained in Bucharest during the 
occupation of the Germans knew that the noble 
ladies, daughters and wives of boyars, had been on 
intimate terms with the invaders and had enter- 
tained the German officers with balls and musicales 
and drinking parties. 

Following on the heels of the retreating German 
armies, the Roumanians occupied part of Hungary 
and crossed into Bulgaria, where they appropriated 
more and more territory despite the denunciations 
of their former allies. Possession is ten-tenths of the 
law in Roumania. 

Meanwhile Carol was still in love with Zizi and 
refused to listen to Marie. Instead of agreeing to an 
annulment or to a divorce from Zizi, he sent her 
letter after letter assuring her that he considered 


himself her husband and would do so for the rest of 
his life* 

"My love/' he wrote to her. "I have had a violent 
discussion with my mother. I have violently de- 
fended our cause, but you also, my darling, must 
help me and must obey me. First as a proof of your 
love for me and also because you must obey your 

Even after the annulment was pronounced by the 
Roumanian court, in the absence of both the Prince 
and his wife, Carol wrote on the first of August, 

"My dear Zizi. Obliged to leave at the head of 
my regiment, I am thinking that one never knows 
what is going to happen. I want this letter to serve 
you as recognition from me that I am the father of 
the child you will give birth to and that I have 
never ceased, despite the annulment proceedings, to 
consider myself your husband." 



/AROL continued his pro- 
testations to Zizi Lambrino and assured her that he 
would never, never give her up despite the insistence 
of the politicians and his mother's pressure. He had 
been almost forcibly separated from her, but he was 
permitted to conduct an active correspondence with 
his wife. 

When Roumania had emerged from the war with 
twice as much territory and a population almost 
three times as great as it had had before it had en- 
tered the struggle, the royal lover underwent a 
change of heart. It was one thing to be the heir to 
the throne of a kingdom of six to seven million in- 
habitants, and quite another to be the heir to the 
throne of a kingdom of eighteen million inhabitants. 

King Ferdinand's illness was becoming daily 
more severe. His life was in continual danger. The 
heir to the throne's mother understood her son well. 
She, and Shtirbey and Bratianu, put fair women in 
his way, hoping that he would discover a new pas- 
sion. His fidelity to his morganatic wife, however, 



was not impaired by these passing amours. Carol 
has a tremendous capacity for love and he seldom 
forgot Zizi Lambrino, even in the midst of the most 
prolonged revels. He was faithful to her in his own 
fashion he loved her. But to give up the throne of 
a country of eighteen million inhabitants and such 
lovely woman subjects was infinitely more difficult 
than it had been. 

Meanwhile Queen Marie had tread a little too 
heavily on the toes of her prime minister and the 
rift between her and that gentleman grew despite 
the adroit intercession of Shtirbey. Bratianu now 
ruled the country as an autocrat, resented the inter- 
ference of the Queen in his affairs, and wanted to 
censor her publicity, her speeches and her activities. 

"Madame, my father has brought the Hohenzol- 
lerns to the throne of Roumania. I am afraid his 
son will have to sweep them out." 

In despair and fear of losing her power and her 
cash Queen Marie turned to her oldest son. She 
explained that unless the family presented a solid 
front to Bratianu's growing enmity to the Hohen- 
zollern dynasty, they would be lost. There were 
rumors that Bratianu wanted to make himself pres- 
ident of the Roumanian republic. 

Carol listened to reason and for a time there 
reigned almost complete harmony between mother 
and son. Common interests welded them closely. 



The Queen took advantage of this period of quiet 
to convince Carol that it was to his disadvantage and 
to the disadvantage of the whole royal household 
to continue his association with Zizi Lambrino. The 
annulment of their marriage had long since been 
pronounced by the Roumanian courts and was effect- 
ive if Carol wished to take advantage of the letter 
of the law. 

Carol had grown a little tired of Zizi's nagging 
letters. She wanted to know when he would come 
back to her. 

Carol agreed with his mother. In due time, the 
great matchmaker introduced to her son Princess 
Helen, daughter of King Constantine of Greece, and 
Carol assented that she was the right person to wear 
the crown of the Roumanian kingdom. 

Whispers of the royal engagement became louder 
and louder. In November, 1920, Carol wrote to Zizi 

"I have been told that you don't ever want to see 
me again if I leave you now. I don't want to insist 
too much on that point. You will take such action 
as you think best. I had believed that it would be 
more agreeable to you that we should meet and 
talk the matter over, no matter how painful such a 
meeting might be. And then I have wanted to see 
our child. You see, I am writing to you not as a 
conqueror, but as one who has been conquered. I 



have fought to the end for what I believed to be my 
happiness. But I have begun to see that everything 
is against me and I have surrendered. The future 
will tell me whether I was right or wrong. Don't 
ever believe that my affection for you has dimin- 
ished. All my life, my heart will remind me of 
what you have been to me. Always I shall remem- 
ber the luminous hours of our evanescent happiness. 
The charm has been broken. I have turned a new 
page of life. In this gesture which must seem to you 
horrible and heartless, I must tell you that love for 
my country and the desire to do something have 
forced my hand. You must not have any fear. You 
must think of the future of the child. Who knows ? 
Perhaps you will find in him the joy which will 
attenuate the sufferings caused by our separation. 
Think of the child. He should become the aim of 
your life. Don't believe that I am playing the 
moralist here. I write this as one who wants to 
continue to be your friend and who will take care 
of both of you. The past which has been so beauti- 
ful and so painful will help us go through the trials 
that will beset our lives." 

The answer to this letter must have touched the 
heir to the throne, for he wrote another letter to 
her dated from Switzerland which read: 

"My poor baby: Your note in which you recall 
to me the verses which we so frequently read to- 



gether has reached me. I am not so sure that this 
note will reach you, but I must tell you certain 
things. Don't believe that I have disarmed without 
fighting. I have resisted to the last extreme and 
have declared myself beaten only when I realized 
I was alone that everybody was against me. Yes, 
my poor little one, it is true that I have become en- 
gaged, and to a princess! It is so much against my 
principles that I am myself stupefied by my action. 
Don't believe that I have been forced to do so by 
my parents. I have found someone who can under- 
stand me and who has the same ideas and theories 
of life as I have. She has agreed to console a pro- 
foundly lacerated heart. I should have wanted to 
wait a little longer and let time blot things out. 
But circumstances independent of our will have com- 
pelled us to act quickly. Remember, however, that 
I shall never abandon the two of you." 

Why did Carol write Zizi Lambrino that it was 
so horrible to have engaged himself to marry a prin- 
cess? It is evident from this one line in his letter 
that he had not only given up the throne but was 
strongly inclined to the Republican form of govern- 
ment, that he had criticized the existence of all 
princes and princesses. Yet even while writing this 
letter to his morganatic wife, Carol, who seemed so 
remorseful, was enjoying himself so thoroughly that 
when it was decided that he should go on a world 



tour before marrying Helen of Greece, he simulated 
first an accident, saying that he had fallen from 
his horse, and when that did not work, he fired a 
bullet through his leg, inflicting upon himself an 
injury that would detain him where he was. 

But Marie had the last word in this affair also. 
Carol ultimately let himself be persuaded and trav- 
eled extensively in India and Japan and in the 
United States. 

Queen Marie referred to this trip of the heir to 
the throne as a voyage that would supplement his 
studies; to which a facetious newspaper man replied 
that indeed the heir to the throne was study bent; 
that the prince loved women so much that he had 
gone out into the world to investigate the charms 
of every single nationality before returning to 

Carol did study the women of the whole world 
all the nationalities, all the colors. 

On the tenth of May, 1921, Carol of Hohenzollern 
married the Princess Helen of Greece at Athens, and 
returned to Roumania amidst the hoorays and accla- 
mations of the people. 

It must be said here again that Carol had won 
considerable affection in the hearts of the people be- 
cause of his escapades. The Roumanians were flat- 
tered to have such a virile man as their future King. 
There were people who believed that Carol had 


settled down; that the heir to the throne had sown 
his wild oats and would now concentrate on the 
work before him. There was a lot of work to do. 
The country was on the verge of a revolution and 
on the brink of bankruptcy. Since it was known 
how actively Carol opposed Bratianu, it was hoped 
that his advent to the throne would see the end of 
the rule of that insufferable autocrat, that robber 
baron. In reality, however, Carol renewed his re- 
lations with Zizi immediately after his marriage and 
let things go as usual. I have already told that 
Jeanne Lambrino was a frequent guest at the palace 
of the princely pair, and that Helen of Greece had 
no objection to Carol's friendship with his former 
morganatic wife. 

And then suddenly, from a clear sky, the Prince 
heir and Zizi Lambrino parted company. Marie's 
hand showed itself again. Zizi was told that unless 
she left Roumania, her child would disappear, but 
if she left instantly the royal family agreed to give 
her a monthly allowance. The daughter of General 
Lambrino knew with whom she was dealing and 
obeyed. The manner in which his mother handled 
this last phase of the Lambrino affair made Carol 
come to the conclusion that any peace between him 
and her was impossible. She had made up with 
Bratianu and Shtirbey was again her favorite. 

To establish himself even more firmly in the 



hearts of the people and to win the army to his side, 
to prepare himself well for the eventual struggle, 
Carol began to devote himself to the affairs of the 
army and to the establishing of public schools and 
public libraries in the urban and rural communities 
of the country. He even founded an institution to 
publish originals and translations of books to be dis- 
tributed free or at small cost to the peasants of the 
country. Through Professor Jorga he ranged him- 
self on the side of the Peasant Party; the only oppo- 
sition of the Bratianu government. 

The Queen was determined to acquire as much 
sympathy as she could. Carol and his mother 
fought for the favor of the people. The condition 
of the King was not improving. His days were 
numbered. The Bratianus saw themselves in dan- 
ger. They knew what Carol's ascension to the 
throne would mean. In the measure that he felt 
himself secure, the Prince asserted himself more and 
more. The Peasant Party became more and more 
audacious. And when the Prime Minister once 
came to inform the prince heir that His Majesty's 
condition was dangerous, Carol told him that his 
information was gratuitous that he was kept in- 
formed by the doctors attending his father and or- 
dered Bratianu out of the room. The Prime Minis- 
ter objected to the manner in which he was being 



"Get out, get out," cried Carol. 

This incident did not tend to bring the two closer 
together. When the King survived that crisis, 
Bratianu began to work assiduously to rid himself 
of his future master. Queen Marie was in absolute 
agreement with Bratianu, Shtirbey and all of Carol's 
enemies. "We must get him out of the country." 

Suddenly Carol's sober political and cultural ac- 
tivities were interrupted. He lost interest in the 
peasants and the citizens of Roumania. He lost in- 
terest in the Peasant Party. He had met a Madame 
Tampeano, the divorced wife of an officer in the 
Roumanian army. She had taken back her maiden 
name of Lupescu. Fascinated by the sensual charms 
of that red-haired woman, Carol neglected his affairs 
and devoted himself exclusively to the woman. It did 
not take long before the young lady's apartment be- 
came his real home, while the palace in which his 
wife lived was only of secondary importance. 

Throwing discretion to the winds, Carol let him- 
self be seen with the red-headed lady everywhere, 
regardless of the humiliation such an association 
inflicted upon his wife. To the entreaties of his 
friends the heir to the throne answered: 

"I have only one life to live. I have never loved 
Helen and never will." 

Princess Helen thought it convenient to leave the 
country to visit specialists who promised to cure her 



sick eyes. She did that either because she wanted 
to avoid the daily humiliation to which she was 
subjected, or because she hoped that Carol would 
soon tire of his new amour. 

Neither Queen Marie nor the Bratianus and the 
Shtirbeys did anything to separate the two lovers. 
The contrary is true. They did everything possible 
to bring them together publicly and show them to 
the world together. An active publicity campaign 
told the world that the Prince was enamoured of 
a red-headed Jewish woman, the daughter of a junk 

Only those who understand how hated and de- 
spised the Jews are in Roumania will understand 
how this information worked against the interests 
of the heir to the throne. When Carol had mar- 
ried Zizi Lambrino, the Roumanians could not find 
it in their hearts to say anything against him. After 
all, he had married a Roumanian woman and the 
worst that might come of that match would be that 
a Roumanian woman would sit on the throne. 

The mere fact that Carol had a fleeting passion 
for a Jewish woman did not, at first, militate 
against him. It had happened before. Many Rou- 
manian men have had liasons with Jewish women. 
It was the fashion for impoverished officers of the 
army to marry the daughters of wealthy Jews. They 
got fat dowries. But the publicity campaign of the 



Queen hinted that Carol was so enamoured of that 
Jewish woman, that daughter of the junk peddler, 
that he would not hesitate to divorce his wife and 
put Magda Lupescu on the throne beside him. Did 
the Roumanians want a Jewish Queen? A Jewish 
Queen in Roumania would have been more than 
the people could stand. Magda Lupescu was rep- 
resented as the emissary of the Jews of all nations 
who had paid her bags of gold to entice the future 
King into her arms. 

That the first meeting between Prince Carol and 
Magda Lupescu was not an accident that the un- 
seen hand of Shtirbey had put the red-headed 
woman in the path of the inflammable prince at a 
propitious moment, has been repeatedly told before. 
It was a masterful stroke. It doomed Carol. 

Instead of retreating from under the glare of this 
publicity campaign, Carol again "shouldered his re- 
sponsibilities." Instead of shrinking from the light, 
he showed himself more and more frequently with 
the red-headed lady beside him. Marie knew how 
stubborn he was. She played on that string. She 
knew that the more they would try to separate him 
from her the stronger his opposition would be. His 
closest friends tried to interfere, to advise him, but 
he would not listen to them. 

"If to be King means not to live one's life as one 
wishes, I prefer life to a throne. I have the same 



rights to happiness as the milkman has. No one is 
going to blackmail me out of what life has given 


A manly reply, what? 

When this reply of Carol's was brought to the 
ears of his father, the King ordered Madame Lu- 
pescu, in November, 1925, to leave the country. 
King Ferdinand was not in on the intrigue against 
his son. When Madame Lupescu objected and 
said that she was well enough where she was, 
that it was her country, she was told that she 
would avoid bloodshed if she left; that if she 
insisted in her attitude the Jews of the country 
would be slaughtered by the anti-Semites and that 
the government would be able to do nothing to 
stop the uprising. 

Such threats were too much for her. She left de- 
spite Carol's entreaties. The whole world was in- 
formed of what had happened. The Queen's version 
of the affair was given the widest publicity. 

For a while Carol bowed his head under the blow 
he had received. He had lost many friends. He 
had lost the support of the majority of his sympa- 
thizers and he knew with what eyes people now 
looked at him. He could gauge his position by the 
attitude of his mother, and of Barbu Shtirbey and 
the Bratianus. They laughed in his face. Servitors 
in the royal palace turned their backs on him. 



The King continued to be very ill and refused to 
see Carol. Only one newspaper man, the editor o 
"The Epoca" had enough red blood in his veins to 
stand by the heir. 

I am quoting here part of an article written by 
this man. 

"I want to denounce that disgusting personality 
which can be felt everywhere but met nowhere, 
upon whom leans a political party for which he 
shares no responsibility. That man's name is Barbu 

"He is well known but few people have the cour- 
age to mention him by name. He has accomplices 
everywhere. He buys everything and sells every- 
thing. He can confer medals and honors on all 
those who have put themselves at his disposition and 
helped him in his secret enterprises. He has im- 
posed silence on everybody, a special silence, an ex- 
traordinary silence. I want to tell the country, from 
one end to the other, that Barbu Shtirbey is respon- 
sible for all the evils that have befallen Roumania 
and its throne. Every citizen is the victim of his 
influence and his intrigues. This man knows nei- 
ther law nor constitution. He knows only his own 
interests. No one has dared to denounce him until 
now. The Epoca will tell on every page what 
Shtirbey has done and is doing. And if we have to 
disappear. . . ." 



And yet Carol soon saw himself so neglected that 
he thought it best to accept his mother's suggestion 
that he go to London to represent the crown at the 
funeral of Queen Alexandra. He was not only the 
heir to the throne, he was also the father of an heir 
to the throne, Prince Michael. 

Upon his return from London, Madame Lupescu 
waited for him at the railroad station in Paris. A 
telegram published in the Roumanian newspapers 
announced that the two lovers had met there. 

Queen Marie wrote a long letter to her son, re- 
proaching him for his behavior and managed to 
have that letter published in all the papers. 

Disgusted, Carol, who was being followed by de- 
tectives and reporters, went to Venice with Madame 

What strange coincidence made him go to the 
same hotel to which his father had once gone with 
Mile. Vacarescu? Unlike King Carol, King Ferdi- 
nand did not burst into the room to separate the 
two lovers. There was no Queen Elizabeth to stand 
by their side. But Carol received a severe and 
threatening letter from his father; a letter undoubt- 
edly dictated by his mother and by Barbu Shtirbey, 
which the King had merely signed. 

Carol answered, saying that if affairs continued 
to be what they were in Roumania, he was again 
willing to renounce his rights to the throne. "It 



must be known who is to reign in Roumania the 
Hohenzollerns or the Bratiamis." 

King Ferdinand woke up to the fact that the ab- 
sence of Carol had practically delivered him into 
the hands of his wife, Shtirbey and Bratianu. The 
trio treated him as a negligible quantity and with 
harshness. In the last stages of cancer, when he 
was suffering indescribable pain, he could not even 
obtain the services of a doctor, when he wanted one. 

Queen Marie did not appear at the bedside of her 
sick husband for weeks at a time. 

Princess Ileana was always with her mother. 

Princess Elizabeth was busy with her own affairs 
as the wife of Prince Paul of Greece. 

Mignon was Queen of Jugo-Slavia. 

Nicholas, an irresponsible youth, did not show up 
at the palace for months. 

Except for a few servants around him, the King 
never saw a human being. 

His prime minister appeared only when he 
wanted him to sign a document. 

King Ferdinand sent a friend of his, General 
Hiotto, to beg Carol to return to Roumania to beg 
him in the name of a neglected father. 

Carol refused to return. The last paragraph of 
his letter to King Ferdinand, the letter in which he 
renounced for the fourth time the Roumanian 
throne, read: 



"I not only renounce the throne, but I renounce 
all the rights that I have, all the rights given to me 
by the Roumanian laws, over my child and over 
my wealth." 

And to General Hiotto, Carol said: 

"Tell my father that I will return to Roumania 
if he first asserts his rights as a king. He must 
drive out the Bratianus and Prince Shtirbey and he 
must put a curb on the Queen before I ever set foot 
again in that country." 

By hook or crook, the Bratianus got hold of that 
letter, deleted from it certain passages, read it in open 
Parliament and delivered to the press the heir's defi- 
nite renunciation of the throne. 




/AROL was hardly out of 
the country, and the publicity department had the 
affair well in hand, trumpeting the scandal all over 
the world, when Marie, Bratianu and Shtirbey and 
three other secretaries of state gathered at Sinaia to 
institute a regency to govern the country in the event 
that anything should happen to the King. 

King Ferdinand's condition was precarious. The 
doctors had given up all hope of saving him, and 
his death was a question of months, weeks or days. 

That very same day Bratianu, Shtirbey, and Marie 
had talked to the King about a regency. Ferdinand 
opposed their plans strenuously. He argued that 
he did not consider the heir to the throne's step as 
definitive, and that he still hoped to convince Carol 
to come back and take his place at the foot of the 

One can easily imagine the turmoil the King's 
statement aroused in the Marie, Bratianu, Shtirbey 
trio. After they left the King, they, and the three 



ministers decided to name a regency, and even chose 
the people who were to take part in it Prince 
Nicholas, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox 
Church, and the president of the Supreme Court. 
This regency was to act immediately upon the death 
of Ferdinand, in the name of Prince Michael, Carol's 
son, who was to be declared officially the heir to 
the throne. 

The following day, two letters were read in Parlia- 
ment. One contained Carol's abdication. The 
other was from the king who accepted Carol's resig- 
nation from the throne and also added a great deal 
of his own bitterness about the prince's conduct. 

People who had not been in favor of Carol until 
then, were inclined to side with him after the king's 
letter was read; they were inclined to side with the 
prince heir because they did not believe that his 
father had written that letter. There were people 
who were convinced that the Bratianu, Marie, 
Shtirbey trio had composed the letter and that the 
king had signed it without knowing what it con- 
tained. It was beyond belief that a father should 
find it in his heart to paint his son as black as Fer- 
dinand painted Carol in that short letter. 

The power of the Peasant Party dates from that 
day. The leaders of that party were the only ones 
who opposed the regency and refused to vote on 
Prince Carol's renunciation of the throne. They 



also refused to vote the proclamation of Prince 
Michael as heir to the throne. 

However, the Bratianu plans were ratified by a 
tremendous majority. Yet Carol could boast that 
he had a political party on his side. 

Whatever the political direction and political aim 
of the Peasant Party had been before then, it now 
became the accepted representative of the exiled 
heir. It became an axiom that the Peasant Party 
would recall the heir to Bucharest if it ever came 
into power. 

With Carol out of the way and the danger of a 
new power looming strongly on the political firma- 
ment, the Bratianu-Shtirbey clique began to stuff 
its pockets more hastily than it had done before. 
They realized that their days were numbered. 

To speak of order and government in those days 
would be idle. The army was disorganized, hungry 
and naked. The railroads were disorganized and 
practically at a standstill. Industry and commerce 
were things of the past. Public instruction, educa- 
tion, was nothing but a fiction. No public servant 
was paid. It speaks well for the innate decency of 
the plain people that internal conditions did not 
get much worse than they were. The people at the 
head of the government were setting the worst pos- 



sible example. Graft, bakshish, became a national 
institution. No one paid taxes or duties. You cam? 
to an agreement with the tax collector and what 
you gave him was all you owed or ever paid. 

My family and I were on the way back from Con- 
stanza, on the Black Sea, to Braila, on the Danube. 
At the railroad station the man behind the parti- 
tion looked at me as at a strange animal when I 
asked for four first class tickets. Suddenly he bel- 

"Tickets? We have no tickets. They haven't 
sent me any tickets for weeks." He closed the win- 
dow in my face. I could hear him muttering: 
"Tickets! Crazy people. Tickets. Railroad tickets 
he asks for!" 

When the train arrived, the second and third class 
cars were overcrowded, but the first class cars were 
almost empty, except for a few passengers. 

We sat down in a compartment occupied by a lone 
gentleman. I recognized him. He was a Congress- 
man. I told him of our plight and that I could 
not buy transportation tickets. 

"That doesn't matter," he said. "You don't have 
to buy railroad tickets. Just give the conductor a 
few dollars." 

While we were talking the conductor passed by. 
In the presence of this legislator of the country, I 
gave the railroad man the bribe. He took it, 



thanked me, bowed to the Congressman and de- 

I turned to my fellow traveler. 

"How can you excuse your conduct?" I asked. 
"You advised bribery you, a legislator of the 

He smiled. 

"The conductor will split this money a half dozen 
ways. Everybody will get something out of your 
money. When you buy a railroad ticket you don't 
know who gets the money. The conductors and 
engineers don't get it they haven't been paid in 

Alas ! It was only too true. The government had 
even kept CO.D. money paid by merchants on 
wares that had arrived on trains from other coun- 

The government officials and the people working 
in industries and enterprises which were govern- 
ment monopolies, were sympathetic to the Bratianus 
and the Shtirbeys. At no other time had they been 
able to loot as freely as during that particular period. 
No questions were asked. One took what came into 
one's hands. The army and the school teachers, 
however, did not fare so well. They were not able 
to do better that way than when they were paid 
their salaries, so they joined the Peasant Party. 

Meanwhile, Prince Carol and Magda Lupescu 


were defying the world. Carol, master of a consid- 
erable income on which neither Bratianu nor 
Shtirbey could lay their hands, paraded his red- 
headed mistress quite ostentatiously from Venice 
to Paris and from Paris to Deauville and back again. 
They traveled in open automobiles. Madame Lu- 
pescu's furs became so well known along the French 
roads that even children could pick her out from 
among the thousands of cars that passed by on Sun- 

"La Princesse Rouge. La Belle Juive. La Reine." 

Carol and Madame Lupescu were seen at cafes, 
cabarets and gambling places. The couple gathered 
a number of gay friends about them; actors, ac- 
tresses, musicians, newspaper men, flatterers and a 
few would-be statesmen who had always kept on the 
fringe of political parties. 

The opinion of Roumanian politicians did not 
affect the opinion of the Parisians. To them Carol 
was another one of the many royal exiles living in 
their city. They were good spenders. They were 
gay. They added tone, more attraction to the great 
city. They attracted tourists. 

The Prince and Madame Lupescu, or Madame la 
Princesse, as she began to be called, were treated re- 
spectfully in all the cafes; with that condescension 
waiters show toward people who have finally come 
to their senses and realized that life's chief joys were 



few and easy to acquire. The red-headed lady was 
a good eater and had discriminating taste for wines 
and liqueurs. 

Yet after a time, that sort of life began to pall on 
Carol. His real feeling toward Magda Lupescu will 
forever remain a secret to the world. It is possible 
he did not believe what everybody seemed to know; 
that Magda had been a set-up, that she was put in 
his path by his mother and his political enemies, to 
injure him, to make him ridiculous in the eyes of 
the people. Any other man, having found out how 
he had been tricked, would have made short shrift 
of the affair. Carol acted as if he did not know, or 
as if it did not matter. 

When he was in his cups, he was not always po- 
lite and affectionate to Magda Lupescu. To make 
up for these rare instances of ill-mannered behavior 
in public he gave her costly jewels which she ex- 
hibited just as promptly. Dressmakers and furriers 
reaped rich harvests after every quarrel between the 
two lovers. 

People who watched Carol closely noticed that he 
began to seek the company of other women. He 
began to like a little more noise. He began to 
drink stronger wines, to sit longer at dinner tables, 
and to break out in sudden rages. After gay par- 
ties, he smashed glasses and dishes. At other times 
he smiled wistfully, closed his eyes and said the 


most scathing things about his own family. He de- 
veloped quite a tongue that way. His bon mots 
and his wit became the talk of certain circles in 

And then those "fringe" statesmen began to ap- 
proach him a little closer and talk to him about his 
chances of assuming the throne when his father 
should die. 

At first Carol would not hear of it. But after a 
while he began to listen. 

Emissaries were sent back to Bucharest to estab- 
lish liaisons with representatives of the army and of 
the Peasant Party. Though Professor Jorga was 
vacillating, and was sometimes a Carolist, and at 
other times an anti-Carolist, he was valuable as a 
point of rally. There were a few other men who 
had had a hand in shaping Carol's grand return to 
the throne. 

The army was won over rather easily. Carol 
promised a military dictatorship. Carol would put 
the army in power. What army in the history of 
the world has not believed that the power to govern 
the country should be vested in it? 

I was told that Magda Lupescu kept certain people 
informed of everything that was going on in and 
out of her house. 

There are people who are convinced that Madame 


Lupescu had been won over completely by Carol's 
love for her; that she was devoted to him to the 
point of self-abnegation. My informers said that 
Madame Lupescu was willing to give Carol up if 
that would give him a better chance to ascend the 
throne. Yet Carol never trusted her fully. Madame 
Lupescu never knew more than Carol wanted her 
to know. 


Meanwhile in Bucharest the physical condition of 
King Ferdinand was growing worse and worse. He 
was in the last stages of cancer and he was drinking 
himself to the grave. 

The Bratianus were becoming more and more 
hated and feared as their rapacity increased. 

The peasants were beginning to protest louder and 
louder and the size of the Peasant Party was assum- 
ing dangerous proportions. The army was clearly 
not on the side of the Bratianus. 

Queen Marie saw what might happen if the King 
should die suddenly. If Carol came back on a wave 
of public enthusiasm her reign and that of Shtirbey 
and Bratianu would immediately come to an end. 

If Carol did not return and Bratianu and Shtirbey 
should feel absolutely secure, Marie knew that at the 
death of her husband, her day of power would also 



come to an end. The odium of her son's behavior 
had been made to reflect upon the mother. The 
counter propaganda had disseminated widely the 
stories of the Queen's behavior. The Roumanian has 
considerable tolerance for all normal sexual appe- 
tites, but people with imagination hinted at affairs 
not quite so normal. 

Marie attempted to smash her way into the re- 
gency that was to begin to function at the death of 
her husband. She argued that Nicholas was too 
young for such an office, that he could not very well 
represent the royal household because of his youth 
and frivolity. 

"He is as good as your other offspring, Madame," 
Bratianu opposed her. 

She told them that foreign bankers would not lend 
the country any money as long as she was not in 
power. Her arguments were laughed off. 

"We don't want foreign capital." 

When she argued a little more forcibly, Bratianu 
and Shtirbey reminded Her Majesty that her private 
fortune was in their hands. 

"Madame! We have heard enough." 

"Madame, Roumania is tired of feeding your dis- 
solute family." 

Bratianu and Shtirbey posed as the righteously in- 
dignant patriots. 



Some twenty years ago, when I first began writ- 
ing stories about Roumania, I was frequently asked 
whether such a country really existed. Those who 
were better informed believed that it was a Turkish 
province, and others thought it was one of Austria's 

For twenty years I have told stories of the peas- 
ants, of their sufferings, their labors, their habits and 
customs in the regions I know so well; along the 
Carpathian mountains and along the Danube River. 

I have spoken to audiences of hundreds and audi- 
ences of thousands about my rivers and my moun- 
tains and that section of the Black Sea near which I 
was born. I have told stories of the tremendous fe- 
cundity and the unheard of endurance of the 
people, of the fertility of the land and of the incon- 
ceivable wealth in oils and metal ores, coal and am- 
ber lying right under the spade and the pickaxe. I 
have spoken and written about the soul of the peas- 
ant, of his folklore, of his music and his proverbs 
so wise and so old. 

And suddenly, as though in a whirlwind, Queen 
Marie's blurbs began to flutter over the world. Her 
publicity bureau sent out reams of copy about the 
Queen and the King and the prince and the prince- 
lings, and dozens of photographs of each of them 
in all poses. The desks of every newspaper were 



At first it was hot stuff. Queens always were hot 
stuff in this most democratic of countries. The stuff 
became hotter and hotter. Little intimate stories of 
the Queen and the princes were being secretly di- 
vulged to the world; in ten thousand mimeographed 
copies at a time. 

How the Queen rises. How she goes to bed. 
What she wears. What she eats. What she drinks. 
How she loves her subjects. How they love her. 
When Roumania entered the war on the side of the 
allies newspaper headlines announced to the world 
that "Queen Marie's armies are ready to win the 
war." King Ferdinand signed a separate peace with 
the Germans but it was Queen Marie that made her 
triumphal entry into her capital. 

After the exile of Prince Carol, the clipping bureau 
of the Queen's publicity office did not have much to 
show for their labors. The press of the world 
seemed to be off royalty, Roumanian royalty, for a 
while. It had had more than enough of that brand. 
Not one item of ten sent out was published. And 
the photographs, even though in the most interest- 
ing poses, destined and calculated to take the Ameri- 
can people by storm the Queen holding up her 
grandson; the Queen in military uniform, the Queen 
in nurse's uniform, the Queen being acclaimed by 
the people, the Queen writing her memoirs all these 
interesting photographs, were left unused by the 



unfeeling editors. Something had to be done about 

Carol's exile, the details of it, and the stories 
which followed the event, left a bitter taste in the 
mouths of the American newspaper readers. 

The Austrian, the German and some of the 
French papers made acrid comments about what 
had happened behind the scenes. Then the Queen 
discovered that though she could buy space and 
favors in the European press, the American press 
would not be corrupted. In most of the French 
and Austrian papers "space" is for sale to whosoever 
pays. Countries can buy space as cheaply as actors, 
singers, concertists and corset manufacturers. Praise 
is paid for at so much per line. 

Following an exposure of corruption and cruelty 
in the army, Panait Istrati, the celebrated French 
writer of Roumanian origin, wrote some virulent 
articles in the radical French press. The "League of 
the Rights of Man" sent a commission to investigate 
the iniquities Panait had described. Henri Barbusse, 
the French writer of "Under Fire" fame, and Maitre 
Torres were of that commission. Instead of putting 
the facts in the matter at the disposal of these men, 
for them to investigate and report, those in power 
saw fit to encourage in Bucharest, one hundred feet 
from the royal palace, loud manifestations against 
the investigators. 



"Out with the scoundrels. Send them out of the 
country. To death with them." 

Barbusse, after being beaten, had to be hustled out 
of the hotel through a back door by his friend Dr. 
Lupu, the former Secretary of State. Still the League 
succeeded in obtaining information damaging to the 
very gentlemen who had wanted to dispose of them 
and the affair in their own way. 

The press of the world preferred to carry items on 
this matter rather than the court news and gossip 
with which they were deluged by the publicity 
bureau of the palace. 

The people of Roumania began to reproach the 
Shtirbey-Bratianu-Marie government for having in- 
volved them in such a mess. The Queen was in. hot 

The publicity managers, the Queen's staff, and the 
Queen herself put their heads together. Something 
had to be done immediately to regain the sympathy 
of the world; for Marie had never realized that she 
had been overdoing her publicity stunt. Because of 
the unrest in the country, the government could not 
obtain the loan it had projected in Europe and 

King Ferdinand was not expected to live more 
than a few months at most. At his demise, little 
Michael was to be proclaimed King. The Queen had 
determined to dominate the regency, to rule, to gov- 



ern. It was a matter of life and death to her. The 
Roumanian people owed her that. She had swung 
them on the side of the Allies. Because of her wis- 
dom the territory had been enlarged four-fold and 
the population of Roumania had been tripled. 
Bratianu, Shtirbey and company were betraying her. 
The Carolist movement was becoming stronger and 
stronger. The Peasant Party was gathering strength. 

The sudden drop in the amount of printed matter 
that appeared about her in the press of the world 
hurt her vanity deeply, and was disturbing her 
plans. The dissatisfaction of her own people was 
troubling her. Jonel Bratianu had changed his tone. 
When she disagreed with him, he told her bluntly: 

"Madame, another word and I shall sweep you 
and your family out of the country and make an end 
of the Hohenzollern regime here." 

She had made him rich. He had no intention of 
sharing his power with the Queen with a woman. 

He censored the "family" for its amorous scandals. 

"Madame, will you put your house in order ? You 
are making the country the butt of ridicule of the 
whole world." 

The Queen knew that Bratianu was no man to 
play with. He and Shtirbey were all too powerful. 

The Queen awoke one morning and announced to 
her publicity staff that she had had a dream. 

This wilful, strong woman is very superstitious 


and had for many years lent her ear to a mystic- 
half charlatan, half saint, the writer Hajdeu, who 
had frequently come running at midnight to the 
court to tell her what he had seen in the stars. 
Marie too had dreams; when it was convenient. 

In that particular dream Marie had seen herself 
rise over the sea on a wave of people. 

It meant only one thing. She had to sail to 

Her sudden decision amazed even her most inti- 
mate friends. It was so unexpected. She elaborated 
quickly upon that proposed tour. While in America 
she would gain the sympathy of the Americans for 
the Roumanians. She would obtain great loans. 
Foreign capital would be made to flow into the 
country for the exploitation of its resources. She 
would work wonders. She would put Roumania 
on its feet. The Americans loved her already. She 
would obtain greater love yet millions of dollars. 
Tens of millions. 

Bratianu and Shtirbey did not want her to go. 
The doctors, urged by Bratianu, told her that the 
King was very ill and did not have long to live. 

That information, instead of deterring her from 
her purpose, acted as an incentive. 

She knew the American people. A sentimental 
people. Look at their movies. Look at their novels. 
And they were rich. And generous. They would 



feel with her in her moment of sorrow. They 
would be sympathetic to the poor widowed Queen. 
They would cry with her. She would appear as a 
saint in their eyes a saint who put her country above 
her private sufferings. 

They would say: "She is going everywhere, and 
traveling over foreign countries to enlist help for 
her subjects/' 

"Instead of being at her husband's bedside to close 
his eyes, she thinks of her people." 

"There goes the widowed Queen of Roumania." 

Two months that would be enough. 

Was it luck, or was it pre-arranged? Just then a 
wealthy man at the other end of the world, in the 
state of Washington, asked the Queen whether she 
would be willing to come, at his expense, to in- 
augurate a library. That library could not exist un- 
less the Queen of Roumania inaugurated it. 

Would she? 

The affair was clinched there and then. When 
the news was broadcast that the Roumanian Queen 
intended to visit America shortly, that she was in- 
deed on her way and would stop only for a short 
time in Paris to replenish her wardrobe, syndicates 
sent their representatives to secure contracts for the 
fruit of the Queen's pen. They wanted world rights 
for what she would have to say about the United 
States and its people. Queen Marie was coming to 



look us over and give us the benefit of her wisdom. 

In an article that appeared recently in a woman's 
magazine, Zoe Beckley, the writer, describes one of 
her business transactions with Queen Marie, Poor 
Zoe did not know how to talk to a Queen about 
prices; about such prosaic and unqueenly matters as 
dollars and cents. Miss Beckley tells how she began 
to talk haltingly about the Queen's charities, to 
which the money was supposed to go. But the 
Queen interrupted her: 

"Now let's talk business. I am a professional 
writer, am I not? What will you pay?" 

Zoe rather liked the abrupt manner. It simplified 
matters. But it did not in the least raise the esteem 
in which she had held crowned heads until then. 

One of the heads of a syndicate told me what a 
hard-headed business woman Marie is. She exacted 
every farthing from every transaction; yet after he 
had secured her signature to the contract and had 
given her a check for the exclusive rights to her 
articles, he learned that she had signed another con- 
tract and received another check from another syndi- 
cate for the exclusive rights to her work. 

Those who knew the temper of the world just 
then, Roumanian representatives in different coun- 
tries, telegraphed and cabled and begged that Marie 
be compelled either to abandon or to postpone her 



But the Queen had made up her hind. Nothing 
could stop her from sailing to America. The King 
was on his death bed. She had to have a place in 
the regency. 

In due time, Marie and her retinue, accompanied 
by Princess Ileana, Prince Nicholas, the "Gray 
Eminence," and Lois Fuller, made their bow to 
New York. 

The mayor gave her one of the keys to the city. 
Our well-dressed official receptioneer shook hands 
with Her Majesty. The sirens of the boats whistled. 
Horns of automobiles blew furiously. There were 
pictures of Queen Marie, the prince and princess, 
and Lois Fuller in every store on Fifth Avenue and 
every display window in the side streets. The Queen's 
photographs were signed in large letters with that 
characteristic stroke of hers. 

There was a quarrel between two photographers. 
Each one of them had bought exclusive rights to 
make and sell these photographs of the Queen and 
her entourage. 

When the Queen was escorted to her suite, at a 
fashionable hotel, officialdom and unofficialdom was 
bowed in before Her Majesty. The Queen handed 
out wisdom by the bushel and bon mots and plati- 
tudes by the ton. She had a great time. 

That night, when the Queen saw the newspapers, 
she was furious beyond words. Valentino was being 



buried on the same day, and Marie shared the 
honors of the front pages with the descriptions of 
his funeral. 

Only enemies could have done that! Only they 
could have arranged the funeral of that actor for the 
day she arrived in this country. Wasn't there any- 
thing that could be done about it? Shame. Shame. 
To share honors with a dead actor! A Queen. 

The publicity bureau tried to remedy matters. 
But Valentino's death seemed to be an important 
event to the very same class of people who had so 
vociferously acclaimed the Queen. Valentino is dead. 
Long live the Queen! 

New York went Marie mad. The Queen was seen 
everywhere. She was popular. She was democratic. 
This democracy of ours was continually marveling 
at her democratic behavior. She was a good fellow. 
She let herself be photographed with this, that and 
the other one. She spoke to everybody. She was 
great. She dressed well. Her peasant costumes were 
simply delicious. And she was a Queen. 

A few days later her endorsements of creams and 
cosmetics appeared in street car advertisements, in 
newspapers and magazines. She too guaranteed 
that it was better to reach for a Lucky than a sweet. 
Well. But she did it for her charities. New York 
was sure of that. She didn't touch the money. Of 
course not. She did it for her people. For her poor 



people. She thought only of her poor people. Even 
now her husband was very ill. Wonderful devotion 
to her people. Poor Marie. She wasn't lucky with 
her oldest son! She deserved better, didn't she? 
She had hoped he would take the burden of gov- 
ernment on his shoulders. He had shirked his duty. 
She would try to convince him on her return voyage 
but it was rather hopeless. And Prince Nicholas 
well, see for yourself just a gay youth! 

To show how versatile she was, the Metropolitan 
Opera House was engaged for Lois Fuller and her 
pupils and it was announced that the American 
dancer would execute a legend written by the Queen. 
Execute is the right word. 

She was a Queen, an actress, a writer, a poet and 
a musician, as well as a few other things. 

"She could give Barnum aces and spades." 

That Lois Fuller affair was an unfortunate under- 
taking for the Queen. Suspecting that New Yorkers 
would simply kill themselves to witness that social 
performance, the gentlemen of Marie's own en- 
tourage bought the tickets and attempted to resell 
them at ten times the original price. 

"The Americans are naive. They will pay any- 
thing to see a Queen." 

Some newspaperman got wind of the affair. The 
Department of Charities interfered and demanded 
an accounting. It had been announced that the 



profits from this performance were to go to charity. 

The press cried "Scandal." 

The people stayed away in large numbers. Dis- 
agreeable things were being whispered about the 
Queen and the dancer. 

At the end of that performance for charity there 
was not enough money to cover the expenses of Lois 
Fuller, her pupils, the theatre, the publicity and the 
music. The charities owed the dancers several 
thousand dollars. 

One of our columnists, Heywood Broun, parodied 
one of the Queen's articles in the column next to 
hers in the same paper. Another newspaper com- 
mented editorially on her articles on free love. 

Vaudevillians began to wisecrack about "Our 
Marie." Skits on the Queen, her consort and her 
entourage, were being hastily put together. Moving 
picture magnates began to bid for her services. She 
took their bids seriously and for a while it looked as 
if Pola Negri might have a serious competitor. 

The Queen rolled on, in slow stages, toward her 
destination, to the State of Washington, in a car 
especially placed at her disposal by one of the rail- 
road companies. But another railroad company re- 
fused to extend the courtesy and demanded pay 
cold cash. 

It is needless to repeat what the whole world 
knows of that trip. Those who had claimed the 



privilege of acting as the Queen's hosts and covered 
the expenses of her trip dropped away one by one 
and withdrew their promises. 

Scandal followed upon scandal. 

Reporters were thrown off railroad cars. 

Princess Ileana got herself talked about with a 
young military cadet. 

Queen Marie had become too friendly with an 
American newspaper man. 

The whole affair went from bad to worse: from 
the ridiculous to the more ridiculous. 

It was a fiasco before they reached Chicago. The 
proposed triumphal tour took on the appearance of 
a return trip of stranded barnstormers. 

Queen Marie waited for the cable that was to tell 
her that the King had died. This alone could have 
changed the wave of ridicule into one of sympathy. 

The cable did not come. The momentum of the 
ridicule increased day by day. Her articles and en- 
dorsements had become the laughing stock of the 

She dragged Prince Nicholas and Princess Ileana 
into a mire of scandal and disreputable mud. 

When things looked blackest, when she had been 
told at a bankers' meeting that she ought to know 
the laws of her country before she appealed for for- 
eign capital; that she ought to know that foreign 
capital was neither welcomed nor permitted in her 


country, the merciful news arrived. It was not as 
good as she had expected. The cable told that the 
King was very ill and that he wished her to return 
home immediately. 

Few people will ever know what a merciful mes- 
sage that cable was to the Queen. One of the 
tricked newspaper syndicates had started an action 
at law to recover. They were making ready 
to seize the Queen's trunks. She had come here as 
a private individual and not as a guest of the nation. 
She was legally as liable to arrest as any other 

The whole Carol scandal was revived and aired 
again. The more the Queen tried to explain the 
affair the more ridiculous and contemptible she ap- 
peared. When she spoke of marital fidelity people 
laughed. And now the vaudevillians had seized 
upon the Heana affair. Marie's own daughter, the 
Queen of Jugo-Slavia, was quoted to have remarked, 

"Why does mother promenade that Mile. Shtirbey 
over the world?" 

It was a shaft at Ileana. The press of the world 
seized upon it. Ileana's paternity was discussed 

And still the King continued to live; beyond the 
time allotted to him by his doctors. 

Queen Marie had come here on the blasts of 
trumpets and fanfares and had planned to return 



home on the wave of enthusiasm and force her way 
into power. The Bratianus and Shtirbeys would not 
dare to refuse her anything after a triumphal tour 
in America. She would be Queen of Roumania de 
jure and de facto. America had to help her to the 

Instead of that she turned home a ridiculous fig- 
ure. She had made the whole country ridiculous. 
For some unexplained reason there was nobody on 
the platform of the station to receive her at 
Bucharest. It was said later that those of her house- 
hold who had gone to meet her had gone to the 
wrong railroad station. 

The King lived on. They had tricked Marie. 
They had called her back in time to dedramatize her 
return. The Bratianus saw to it that the King re- 
mained technically alive until they were ready to 
announce his death. Everything was prepared, Pro- 
nunciamentos were on the walls; machine guns 
were at every corner; the army occupied the strategic 
points. The funeral route was mapped out and the 
speeches were prepared while the King was still 
technically alive. 

Queen Marie's tour of the United States ended in 
a grand fiasco. Her greatest achievement here was 
that whenever the word Roumania is mentioned, 
people immediately think of its comic opera royal 
household, of the disgraceful conduct of the Queen, 



the King, the princes and princesses and the whole 
train that follows. 

It is difficult to convince an American that besides 
the royal aggregate there are eighteen millions of 
people eager to make their land produce; eager to 
drill more oil wells into the bowels of the earth; 
eager to work and live like human beings. 

Instead of holding her own in the industrial 
world, Roumania holds her own in Hollywood, on 
Broadway and in the comic papers. 



HILE in Vienna, during the 
days of the so-called revolution, I met several news- 
papermen who were marking time before setting out 
for Bucharest. There were two Americans, an 
Italian, a Frenchman and a German as well as 
several camera men waiting at the same hotel with 

I had been on a long automobile trip in the Alps 
and had not been in touch with Roumanian affairs. 

"What's all this rush towards Roiimania?" I asked 
one of the American newspapermen. 

"We're waiting for the Roumanian king's fu- 
neral," he answered. 

"Is he dead?" I questioned. 

"They have not yet told the world," the Italian 
newspaper man answered. 

I left Vienna hurriedly, stepped over the Hun- 
garian border and took the first train for Budapest. 
In the capital city of Hungary I scanned every news- 
paper. There wasn't even a hint of King Ferdi- 
nand's impending death. 



I arrived in Bucharest towards midnight, elated 
that I had stolen a march on the newspapermen I 
had left in the Vienna hotel. It was still too early 
to go to sleep, and so I went out for a walk. At the 
stroke of midnight, military patrols appeared in the 
street and I noticed that two soldiers were left at 
every corner. My promenade towards the center of 
the town was barred by the gendarmes who bade me 
return to my hotel, 

"It is too late for any decent man to be abroad," 
they told me. 

I wondered about the military display at midnight, 
and wondered what prompted the police to be so 
anxious about the decency of the citizens of Bucha- 
rest; midnight being the breakfast hour for a good 
many in the capital of Roumania. 

In the morning the riddle was solved. One of the 
newspapers, only one, carried the news of King 
Ferdinand's death on its front page. 

Though all the morning papers- appear usually at 
the same hour, the opposition papers of that morning 
were late. One of the ministers was also the pro- 
prietor of one of the newspapers. And since it was 
he who had to give out the information, he took care 
to give it first to his own paper to have a scoop on 
the others. 

I shall never forget how people looked at me when 
I questioned the ethics of the minister's behavior. 



"And how was it possible/' I asked, "to keep such 
a thing secret? Did not your reporters know that 
the King was ill, that his end was expected at any 
moment? I should think you would have had re- 
porters stationed at the gates of the palace." 

They shrugged their shoulders and called me a 
naive American. 

"The information had to be given out officially. 
Do you understand?" 

Later on I was told that the King had been dead 
a good many hours, if not a good many days before 
his death was made public. The news had leaked 
out the week before and foreign correspondents were 
waiting on the border line for the information they 
had been told to expect. 

The supposition that the King had been dead many 
days before the public was informed sounded a little 
wild to me, despite my knowledge of the intrigues 
and machinations that had been going on in 
Roumanian court and political circles for some years. 
I refused to believe that such a thing would be dared 
by any one. 

But when I saw the face and the hands of the dead 
ruler of Roumania stretched out on the catafalque, 
I had to admit to myself that my informants had 
told the truth. Those hands, shrunken to the size 
of the hands of a little child, had been dead longer 
than the twenty-four hours that had elapsed between 



the announcement and my view of the body of what 
had once been my King. The head had shrunken 
down to the size of a small fist. It looked like a 
mummified head. It could not possibly have been 
living twenty-four hours before. 

On the steps of every public building, schools, 
postoflkes, banks, administrative buildings, stood 
soldiers with bristling machine guns ready for 
action. There were posters on every wall announc- 
ing the death of the Kong, and at the same time tell- 
ing the population how to behave until after the 
funeral. Flags were to be draped in black. It was 
expressly forbidden to play any musical instrument, 
or to have any music in restaurants or cabarets, until 
after the funeral. 

Flags draped in black were hung from every win- 
dow. The militia, from the common soldiery up, 
wore black bands on their sleeves. The gates and 
doors of the palace were draped in black. All the 
outward manifestations of mourning were there. 

Yet no one seemed to mourn. The city of 
Bucharest was under strict martial law as a result of 
the death of the King. There was no question of 
mourning. The people I spoke to were divided into 
two factions. Some said that the military manifesta- 
tion was unnecessary, that it would create a bad im- 
pression on foreigners; and others maintained that 
Jonel Bratianu was right in taking no chances. 



"He does not intend to make the funeral of the 
King an opportunity for the dissatisfied elements to 
seize power." 

Parliament held a brief session the day after the 
announcement of the King's death. Jonel Bratianu 
read the last letter written by the deceased in which 
among other dispositions, he forbade Prince Carol's 
entry into the country even for the funeral. 

Again the mark was overshot. People refused to 
believe that that letter had been written by the Kong. 
Some refused even to believe that he had signed it. 
It was impossible to believe that Jonel Bratianu could 
have sunk so low as to think that others would 
believe him. 

Men turned their heads toward the Queen. She 
could not possibly allow such a thing to happen. 
Why didn't she interfere? Why didn't she demand 
special permission from Parliament, if that was 
necessary, that her oldest son should be allowed to 
come to the funeral of his father? 

And when she had done nothing, people were con- 
vinced that she was a party to that intrigue, that it 
was of her making. 

"The English woman has done it." 

"The English woman has no heart" 

The bristling machine guns, the street patrolling 
soldiers, and the loaded guns in the barracks were 
not there because of fear of public uprising, but as a 



demonstration against Carol; should he attempt to 
brave the interdiction. 

There were rumors that he had come secretly as 
far as the borderline where he was asked to return. 
His best friends were sent to persuade him not to 
attempt to enter Roumania by force; if he wanted to 
avoid bloodshed at his father's funeral. That was 
the alternative that was put to him. If he -entered 
the country in some way, the Bratianus would not 
hesitate to slaughter his followers. 

Meanwhile, my foreign press friends had arrived 
at the hotel 

The people from the outlying towns and villages 
were beginning to pour into Bucharest. 

The streets filled with people. Newspapers were 
already publishing photographs of Queen Marie in 
mourning clothes. She looked well in them. She 
was not going to let such an opportunity slip. Her 
other costumes had become rather too well known. 
Widow's weeds had never been essayed before. 

Next in order came photographs of the newly 
proclaimed King Michael, a darling chubby little 
boy, and photographs of his mother, Princess Helen. 
There were at least a half dozen photographs of the 
Queen for every one of her grandson and daughter- 

That night the newspaper correspondents gathered 
at the bar of the hotel, rather distressed that there 



was no place to go that all the gay places had been 

"Heavens," said the Italian correspondent, "are 
we to be in Bucharest and stay sober and good?" 

I shrugged my shoulders. The law had been laid 
down. The cabarets and drinking places were 
closed. The bright lights had been extinguished. 
The bar of the hotel was the only place open of 
which I knew. My friends would have to be satis- 
fied with that. 

Then a Roumanian newspaper man joined us. 
The American correspondent, more enterprising 
than the others, edged close and began to ply him 
with questions. Did he know any place where the 
evening could be spent more agreeably than at the 
bar of a hotel ? 

"Why certainly," the young. man answered. "I 
know a dozen places." 

"And will there be music?" the American ques- 

"Of course." 

Five minutes later, a taxi, into which we had all 
crowded, stopped in front of one of the well known 
open air cabarets of Bucharest. The windows and 
the shutters and the doors to the street were draped 
with black and closed, but within the crowd was as 
large as usual. A hundred or more young officers 
frolicked with their young lady friends, drinking, 



singing and applauding the gypsy musicians; despite 
the mourning bands on their arms. It was bootleg 
gayety and bootleg music and bootleg everything; 
and they seemed to enjoy it hugely. 

The owner of the cabaret, a supporter of the Bra- 
tianus, did not worry about police interference. He 
was angry that the other cabaret owners had been 
given the same privilege, though he contributed 
yearly more to the Liberal funds than they did. 

"Such an opportunity comes once in a lifetime. 
Look at the crowds of people who have come to 
Bucharest. They should all be here in my place. 
The hotels are full of strangers. There ought to 
be some means of getting to them and telling them 
that Bucharest has not died just because the King 
is dead." 

We visited other cabarets that same night, and 
they were as crowded as this first one. The prices 
had gone up a bit. Somehow the visiting strangers 
had discovered that all was going on as usual behind 
the closed windows and doors. The officers were 
the most conspicuous everywhere, and the gayest. 
Always vain of their uniforms, they were even more 
so now, because of that black band which gave them 

"But really, aren't you mourning the King at all?" 
I asked the cabaret owners. 

"Of course we are. But what has that to do with 


it?" they said. "There are lots of strangers in town. 
They are all anxious to eat and drink and have a 
good time. It is our business to provide for that. It 
is childish to have forbidden it." 

And on second thought, one gentleman added: 

"I suppose it is well to have forbidden it for the 
lower class of cabarets, on the fringe of the town." 

"And Carol," I asked, "what about Carol?" 

"Well," one cabaret keeper answered, "I hope he 
does not disturb this affair. We are against it. It 
will be bad for business. Bratianu was right." 

The owner of a department store fired the chief 
of the hat department because he had not provided 
enough silk hats for the occasion. The man, who 
had served in the same store at the death of King 
Carol had forgotten that Roumania had become 
three times as large and did not realize that there 
would be three times as many officials who would 
need silk hats to follow the funeral. 

My own hotel keeper raised my room rent. 

"Why?" I argued. 

"Because the King is dead. That doesn't happen 
very often. Besides, your windows are on the 
street. You will see the funeral pass by." 

I wondered why the funeral would pass by that 
particular part of the town. 

He looked at me smilingly and asked: 

"Do you know who owns this hotel?" 



The following day, the number of machine guns 
in the street had been doubled. There was an addi- 
tional set of pronunciamentos on the walls of the 
city. Rumors were flying back and forth with great 
insistence that Carol and his friends would indeed 
make a bid for power. Jonel Bratianu had the 
King's last letter published in the newspapers, and 
added a few words of his own about what would 
happen if anything went contrary to the dead King's 

No, he had no interest in the affair. He was 
merely carrying out the last wishes of his King. 

No, he was not a vengeful man. Personally he 
did not care whether Carol came or not. He was 
carrying out the last will of his master. Yet twice 
as many machine guns were necessary in the streets 
to carry out that will, all the cannon had to be 
pointed toward the palace, and the muzzles of the 
guns had to be directed towards one point. The 
Queen and the royal household were in complete 
agreement with him. 

Was there anybody who dared say anything to 
the contrary? 

If Carol was a real patriot and loved his country 
and his people he would not attempt to come home 
just then. 

Poor Roumania had suffered enough. It was too 


bad that the coffin of the dead King should have 
to be spattered with the blood of his people. 

After that the rumors about Carol's return sub- 
sided. Pictures of the dowager Queen, of King 
Michael and of Queen Mother Helen filled all the 
papers and were distributed with full hands to for- 
eign newspaper correspondents. But the telegrams 
and cables that were sent out were censored so 
heavily that nothing beyond the fact that the King 
had died and that there was to be a burial in a day 
or so was allowed to percolate over the border. Of 
the internal condition of the country; of the atti- 
tude of the people, of the aspect of Roumania at 
that time, not a word was permitted to go out 

Correspondents were permitted to say that the 
King had died; that he would be buried; that Queen 
Marie mourned htm deeply (photographs of Queen 
Marie in mourning would follow); that Michael 
had already been proclaimed King and that Queen 
Mother Helen was a fine mother and promised to 
take good care of the child. 

Needless to say that newspaper correspondents 
went to the Hungarian border and sent telegrams 
from there. 

I shall never forget the funeral as it passed by my 

The false attempt at imposing pomp. 



Soldiers passing in prescribed parade. 

Women in their best afternoon dress bending over 
windows and balconies. 

Officers in parade uniform, their swords bowed, 
looking up and exchanging greetings with their 
women friends as they passed by. Some of them 
throwing gallant kisses. 

Jonel Bratianu himself, beneath my window, at 
the curb, watching the funeral as it passed by, check- 
ing up on everything. 

Somebody cried out, "Long live King Carol!" He 
was smothered by policemen and detectives who 
dragged him away, more dead than alive, while 
the funeral procession passed on. 

A woman protested against the cruelty with 
which the Carol enthusiast had been beaten, and 
was knocked down in turn. 

Policemen in uniform and detectives paced up 
and down the streets, over which the cortege passed, 
and told the people to be silent, that there were 
machine guns everywhere. 

I caught a brief glimpse of the royal household 
as it passed by in a heavily curtained automobile. 

A few more outbreaks, a few more people smoth- 
ered just as quickly. 

Jonel Bratianu and his brother Vintila, the prime 
minister and minister of interior, were directing the 
police and the detectives instead of following the 



funeral carriage. They left nothing to chance, those 
two. They had confidence only in themselves. 

When the military force and the official force had 
spent its convoy, the people, following the funeral, 
passed by. 

Groups of barefoot women; wives and mothers 
of those who had fallen in the war. 

Groups of barefoot old peasants; long grey hair 
hanging over their shoulders, bare-footed, bare- 
headed and in tatters. 

War veterans, and the fathers of those who had 
fallen in the war. 

And then the riffraff of the town. 

The peasants, the old men and the old women, 
were the only ones who really mourned their King. 
The others generals, officers and statesmen, took 
the funeral as an opportunity to display their cos- 
tumes and their power. 

I shall never forget the sudden noise in the street 
after the funeral had passed. Had it not been for 
the machine guns on the streets, the King's funeral 
might have become the occasion for a general holi- 

The street vendors acted like on fair days. 

The wine houses, the inns, were filled to the 

While the funeral carriage was still inching 
slowly to the railroad station, on its way to the Car- 



pathian mountains, the impatient gypsies scraped 
their fiddles in the wine places. 

Many of the black flags had come down from 
stores and homes. For even the simplest minded 
realized the ridiculous contradiction between the 
signs of mourning and the holiday spirits of the 

There were a few more street fights. Heavy 
fisted policemen swooped down on a group of inno- 
cent Moslems who were discussing an affair of their 
own in the street. 

The limp bodies of these poor Albanians were 
left on the ground after the uniformed fools had 
finished with them. I saw the battered heads swell 
under my eyes. They puffed out. Discoloration set 

I dragged one of the policemen off the chest of 
one of the men. He was stamping on it and dancing. 

"But why did you do that?" I asked the man of 
the law. "You could not possibly have understood 
what they said. These men did not speak in Rou- 
manian. Do you speak Albanian?" 

"Well, exactly. That's why we had the little 
trouble. I did not understand what they said. I 
must understand everything. We have to be on 
our guard," the policeman answered wisely. 

The night of the funeral was one of grand revelry. 
The terraces of cafes and restaurants were filled 


with people. Not a gypsy who could scrape a bow 
on guts remained idle. Wine and champagne 
flowed freely. Not because Bucharest was glad that 
the King had died. Not that the inhabitants felt 
so gay because some one who had oppressed them 
was no longer among the living. That was not 
the reason. 

It was because those at the head of the govern- 
ment had given no sign of genuine mourning. It 
was because threatening machine guns were there. 
People needed some outlet from this repression. 

Watching the boisterousness and explosiveness of 
the people, I realized that the Bratianus had been 
wise to organize that military display. Had the 
Carolists been men of courage, had they really pos- 
sessed an ounce of daring, they could have taken 
advantage of the feelings of the people that day, that 
night, and the following one, and turned the situa- 
tion to their own advantage. Anything could have 
been done by a few men of courage. It would have 
been possible to declare a dictatorship. It would 
have been possible to proclaim a republic. Another 
King could have been hoisted on the throne. Any 
change could have been wrought during those 
hours. There was nobody with courage enough to 
take advantage of the conditions. The machine 
guns bristled. The people had been cowed. Every- 
body was afraid of everybody else. And everybody 



was angry and upset and embittered because a son 
had not been allowed to come to his father's funeral, 

Every one accused Marie. She had done it. She 
had agreed to it. She was afraid of Carol. 

Why was the royal household afraid of Carol and 
the Carolists unless there was danger from that 
source? The dissolute manner of living in the pal- 
ace, Carol's affairs, and the political affairs, were 
brought up again and discussed in their most min- 
ute details with a freedom I had never heard be- 
fore. The people breathed a little more easily. King 
Ferdinand's death marked, at last, the end of Marie's 
power, "the old ---- " 

The theatres were packed. After the theatre, the 
people trooped into the cabarets. Tables and chairs 
were at a premium. The prices rocketed sky high. 
There were more machine guns on the street cor- 
ners. Military patrols were doubled. 

The day after the funeral, Queen Marie an- 
nounced that she would go into seclusion, and watch 
for a while the remains of her beloved husband. 
And there were photographs already, of the Queen 
in seclusion with the King somewhere in the dis- 
tance. A few days later some more photographs 
appeared of the Queen who had retired to a lonely 
nunnery with her daughter Ileana, to mourn her 
beloved husband; photographs in all poses, in all 
attitudes in every shade of sorrow and sadness and 



humility. The acting was not so bad, though it 
was a little old-fashioned. The whole affair how- 
ever, was an insult to human intelligence. 

Seldom if ever has the illness of a man been so 
speculated upon by his wife and by those surround- 
ing him. At J)est, the history of any royal house 
makes unpleasant reading. The world is lucky that 
Kings and Queens have never been examples for 
their subjects. But to have speculated on the sym- 
pathy aroused in foreigners by a traveling Queen 
whose husband dies while she is away from his 
bedside, was a unique Machiavellian invention. 

That a group of statesmen should prolong the life 
of a man, suffering the agonies of death, to deflect 
that sympathy from the Queen is an even more 
cold-blooded Machiavellianism. To keep the infor- 
mation of the death of the King from the world at 
large until proper arrangements had been made to 
safeguard the power of a few men and women, and 
to make that funeral the occasion to implant, in- 
directly, a little more bitterness in the hearts of the 
people against the heir to the throne, was a bar- 
barous invention. A suffering body was kept pal- 
pitating so that it could be considered technically 
alive. A dead and decomposing body was being 
trafficked upon, bundled and huckstered this way 
and that, for gain, for profit, for political ambition, 
and for the satisfaction of the basest of human in- 


stincts. They were all, the government and the 
royal household, ghouls. 

Over this dead body alliances were made and 
closed. Shtirbey reaffirmed his allegiance and de- 
votion. Bratianu reinforced his promise to keep the 
Hohenzollerns on the throne as long as they be- 
haved. It was over this dead body that the dowager 
Queen Marie and the new Queen Mother became 
friends again. 

It was to the interest of both to prevent Carol's 
return. The Princess heiress had become a Queen 
mother without ever having been Queen. She was 
told that she must protect her son against her hus- 
band. She had to protect the throne of her son 
against the desires of her husband. To do that she 
had to agree with Marie in everything. Carol's 
mother knew. It was imperative that the two unite. 
They had common interests. 

Should Helen be good and submissive there 
would be as many pictures of her in the papers as 
of King Michael. She would be made popular. 
She would be made famous. Any sober-minded 
man would think that no Queen or princess would 
succumb to such lure; that people belonging to the 
royal houses had enough adulation and enough 
flattery not to want more. However, kings, queens 
and emperors have taken great advantage of the 
camera since it was invented. They are now taking 



equal advantage of the talking pictures. They be- 
lieve that popularity depends on the number of 
times their faces and figures appear in print and on 
the screen. They are competing for favor with ac- 
tors, actresses, singers, and other famous men and 
women. This striving for photograph popularity 
is even more intense in the Roumanian royal house- 
hold; due to the exhibitionism of the Dowager 

They have to compete with her. Marie under- 
stands the power of publicity so well that she is 
photographed only with those of her children whom 
she favors and likes. There are a hundred times as 
many pictures of Marie and Princess Ileana as there 
are of Marie and any of her other children. 

"Be good and mother will take a picture with 

"I will never again be photographed with you." 

The camera clicks at all hours of the day and 
night in the royal palace, and in those secluded re- 
treats which the Queen has made famous. The 
American news reel companies keep a talkie truck 
on the grounds of the palace. 

Carol took advantage of his father's funeral to 
let the world know that he was no longer so reluct- 
ant to occupy the throne as he had been until then. 
His friends organized special religious services for 
him in the Greek Orthodox Church of Paris. The 



former heir to the throne appeared in full military 
uniform, his medals on his breast, and insignia of 
his command. A special Te Deum was ordered for 
the soul of his father. 

At the end of the services, at the door of the 
church, in plain view of the multitude, his parti- 
sans bowed and kneeled before him and called him, 
at the top of their voices. "Your Majesty." 

It mattered little that the Roumanian Parliament 
had decreed otherwise it mattered little that 
Michael had already been declared King and that 
the oath of allegiance had been given to Michael by 
the statesmen and the officials of the army. 

The Carolists, who had not enough courage to 
seize the reins of power and fight their way to the 
palace, exhibited enough courage to set up a paral- 
lel government in Paris. 

Carol's entourage addressed him already as "Your 
Majesty." He was King. The coronation was an- 

"Ferdinand's death did one good thing," one of 
Carol's partisans explained to me in Paris. "It clari- 
fied the situation. We know definitely now that 
Helen is on the side of Marie. That makes one 
more enemy. Jonel Bratianu is not an old man, 
but we have talked to physicians who have had him 
under their care for a long time. Those physicians 
have informed us that his laziness is only an out- 



ward symptom that there are physical causes be- 
hind that laziness. He won't live much longer, 
Upon his death, his brother, Vintila Bratianu, will 
take over the Liberal Party and make himself pre- 
mier. But Vintila is a weak man and a fool. Six 
months a year, after Vintila makes himself Pre- 
mier, the Peasant Party will wrench the power from 
him. Vintila is neither as ruthless nor as intelligent 
as his brother. With the Peasant Party in power, 
our road will be smoothed." 

The prophecy was perfect in every detail. 

Carol is on the throne. 

Six months later Bratianu was dead from an in- 
flammation of the throat. A physician had been 
called to operate upon him. He died a few days 
later of septic poisoning. A physician had forgot- 
ten to sterilize something or other. In Roumania 
I was told that that septic poisoning was not an 

Vintila came into power. He was not as ruth- 
less as his brother. Neither was he as intelligent. 
The Peasant Party gained more and more adher- 
ents. Maniu displaced Jorga in order better to 
camouflage the ultimate aim of the party. He sent 
up several trial balloons to find out the temper of 
the people. 

The present prime minister, Mironescu, was ac- 
cused of having attempted to smuggle Carol into 



the country, and was acquitted though he never de- 
nied the accusation. There were several attempts at 
revolution by the Transylvanian peasants. Their on- 
ward march was stayed at the gates of Bucharest. 
Then one day the regents called Mr. Vintila Bra- 
tianu and told him that it would be better for all 
concerned if he retired immediately and resigned 
together with his cabinet. 

He was dismissed like a little office boy. The 
Peasant Party, with Maniu at the head, formed a 
new cabinet. The first step of Carol's return was 
taken. The rest was inevitable. The general prin- 
ciples had been accepted. The details were being 
worked out. The number of Carolists grew. The 
Queen continued her good fight. Her publicity de- 
partment worked hard. The country, the whole 
world was flooded with stories and pictures of her- 
self and little Michael. There were stories about 
the poor young, neglected Queen Mother, and reams 
of indignation at Carol's behavior. Marie fought 
bravely and recklessly a losing battle. 




' OME three years ago, while 
in Paris, one of the attaches of the Roumanian Em- 
bassy came to see me. The gentleman had received 
a letter from Queen Marie in which she introduced 
a particular friend of hers, a young lady of consid- 
erable dramatic talent, and asked him to do his ut- 
most to place her with one of the important moving 
picture companies. As this gentleman was a 
traveling attache and visited the United States fre- 
quently he took it for granted that the Queen's let- 
ter indicated an American moving picture concern. 

When he told me the name of the young lady I 
remembered having heard it mentioned frequently 
in Roumania. I remembered seeing her name on 
theatrical programs of Bucharest and remembered 
that she had created a role in an important French 
play, which had not been very successful. 

"How does she look?" I asked my visitor. 

"Splendid. Marvelous," he replied with great en- 
thusiasm. "I have just seen her. She really is a 
very striking figure. You ought to do something 
for her. The Queen would be very grateful to you 



if you did something for this young lady. She is 
very anxious to meet you." 

Over the telephone, the young lady agreed to 
meet me the following day for tea at the Ritz. 

At the appointed hour there appeared an unusu- 
ally tall, beautiful young woman, dark-skinned, 
with coal black hair and a winning smile. Her eyes 
had a quality I had seldom, seen in white women. 
They were hard and yet eloquent; penetrating and 
yet inscrutable. 

We spent an agreeable afternoon talking of vari- 
ous things. As the day wore to a close, the attache 
asked to be excused, for he had business to attend 
to. We were left alone. 

"D - has told me," I said, "that you arc a 
friend of Queen Marie's. What exactly does that 
mean?" I questioned. 

The young lady gathered her furs about her, as 
if a chill had suddenly passed through her frame, 
smiled bitterly from the side of her mouth, and said, 

"Friend? Who can be a friend of hers? After 
she has used you, she disposes of you like that." 
She snapped her fingers in the air. 

She refused to say another word on the subject 
and began to talk of something else. 

"Do you ever see Carol?" I asked, anxious to 
know with whom I was dealing. 

She turned her eyes on me and said: "Why should 
you ask such a question?" 



I realized that I had trodden on forbidden ground. 
Thinking that I knew more about the subject than 
I really did, she said, 

"It is useless to tell you anything because you 
will misunderstand. Everybody else does. It is a 
complicated enough story the Lord knows, even 
for people who want to understand." 

We walked down the boulevard. Suddenly she 
said that she would like to have a cocktail. Would 
I take her somewhere for one ? 

"You must know where they serve good ones. 
Americans like cocktails." 

I looked at the young lady across the table. That 
piratical look in her eyes struck me as something ex- 
traordinary. There was undoubtedly a good deal 
of gypsy blood in her veins. The quality of her 
hair, and her skin, and that stare in her eyes betrayed 
that. With that easy familiarity people assume far 
from their own homeland, I said, 

"My dear, tell me, how much gypsy is there in 

"Quite a lot," she answered. 

We talked for a few moments about her pros- 
pects in the movies. I was not very encouraging, 
explained how difficult it would be to land a con- 
tract unless she were in New York or in Hollywood, 
where directors and producers could see her. 

"I can manage to go if I want to. I don't think 
she will have any reason to oppose it now." 


"She?" I questioned again. 

"Yes, I mean my mother." My friend caught her- 

But I knew that she did not mean her mother. 

"When did you last play in Bucharest?" I asked. 

"Oh," she answered, "that was a long time ago. 
I don't ever intend to play there again. After creat- 
ing a role, like the role I created in the Atlantide, 
it is difficult to take on minor roles. And the Bucha- 
rest National Theatre won't have any young blood." 

The cocktail was warming her up. She was be- 
coming more loquacious. 

"I was promised backing in another play, but she 
does not always keep her promises." 

Seeing herself betrayed by her own tongue, she 
added, "'She' means Marie. Now you have it 
clear. You are more inquisitive than an examining 
magistrate. Marie had promised backing. But she 
thinks she does not need me any more. Who 

I pleaded ignorance and told her I did not know 
what the relation between the Queen and herself was 
and did not understand why the Queen should want 
to back her in any theatrical enterprise. 

"I did not know Marie was in the theatrical busi- 


She looked at me searchingly and again began to 
talk of other things. 



We left the cafe and walked slowly down the 
boulevard towards her home. 

She lived in a small two room apartment. 

A few moments after we had arrived, a maid 
brought in two charming little girls, both of them 
blonde and looking so unlike their mother that I re- 
peated again and again, 

"Are they really your children?" 

She seemed very fond of them. She pressed them 
repeatedly to her bosom and inquired what they 
had been doing while Mama was away. 

The blonde little heads looked very familiar to 
me; as if I had already seen them somewhere else. 

When they were gone, the mother turned sav- 
agely on me and said: 

"Why don't you ask me who is their father? 
Yes, why don't you ask me that? Hasn't D - 
told you?" 

"D - has told me nothing," I replied. 

"It has all been legalized," she said. "I have been 
married. There is a husband somewhere. I don't 
ever see him. He has never supported me. He has 
never paid any attention to me. I have a friend, 
Prince D - . He is old and mean and avaricious 
and won't do anything for me. It is just my lot to 
be cast aside after I have done my work." 

* # # # * 



Several days later a hastily written note asked 
me to come to her rooms to see her. 

She had discovered that I had written a gypsy 
play. Though the book was in English, a language 
which she did not know, she had had it read to her 
in French by the American wife of the dramatic 
editor of one of the newspapers, and had decided 
immediately that it was the very play she wanted. 
She was no longer interested in America or in the 
movies. She would find a theatre, a manager, a 
backer. The American lady and her husband would 
make an acting version of the play. It was all 
settled then and there. 

It looked as though I would have nothing to say. 

I tried to explain to the young lady that there 
were certain arrangements to be made between the 
author and the other parties, but she waved all that 

"Of course, of course, it is of no importance. We 
will arrange that. Meanwhile let me .arrange every- 
thing else. When everything will be lined up I will 
call upon you. We will sign contracts then. Con- 
tracts! As if such things were needed between 

A week later, she came to see me. She was ac- 
companied by the American lady, who had already 
finished her translation. It was a workmanlike job 
and when I had expressed my satisfaction, the pro- 



tegee of Marie pushed several papers under my hand 
and asked me to sign them. 

I read the documents and discovered that I was 
selling not only the French rights to that play, but 
the world rights, moving picture rights and that I 
was giving to the young actress the exclusive right 
to act in everything I had written or that I might 

I pushed the document aside and said: "I won't 
sign this." 

Without hesitation or apologies, she brought forth 
another document with terms much milder than the 
first, and not as all-inclusive. 

"Will you sign this ?" she asked. 

It was still unsatisfactory and I told her so. 

"It is the least I will take. Think of the work I 
have to do. I must get something in return for what 
I am giving. I am through with doing things for 
nothing." She proceeded to make a scene there and 

I objected to her attitude and told her that I had 
not asked her to do anything. 

The dark beauty pounded the table with her fist. 

"Here I discover a play, it is as if written for me. 
I find somebody to translate it and somebody to 
back me and produce it. And he says he hasn't 
asked me to do anything. Shall I get no return for 
all my pain and my labors?" 



Her energetic outburst embarrassed me. It was 
difficult to withstand her lure and as difficult not to 
sign my name on the dotted line. Yet I resisted. I 
told her that I would not sign anything that gave 
her more rights than she was entitled to. 

She made as if to leave the room in anger, but 
returned from the door and produced a third docu- 
ment which, though it still contained too much, was 
more reasonable than either of the other two. 

The whole transaction struck me as one between 
horse dealers. 

"Listen here," I said, "I won't sign this either, but 
it is a more reasonable document than the other 
two. Will you please tell me whether your people 
were ever horse dealers ?" 

The American lady took offense at my remark, 
but the actress laughed good-naturedly, threw her 
arms about me, hugged me and said, 

"All right. You prepare anything you wish and 
I will sign it." 

A few days later, I received her photograph and 
a letter from somewhere in Switzerland whither 
she had gone with her children to rest. 

When I saw her again she looked ravaged. She 
did not have enough money to pay her room rent. 
She told me that she had been marooned in a big 
hotel in Switzerland, that her maid and her chil- 
dren were still there, that they were unable to get 
out of the hotel because she could not pay the bill. 



"I have telegraphed to Bucharest again and again. 
There was no reply. Forgotten. Thrown aside. 
As if I had never existed." 

And suddenly she began to scream, "I have 
thrown my youth away." 

Nothing came of the proposed production of that 
play. She never got the backing. 

Had the young lady not told her story, or parts 
of it, in recent interviews, I should never have writ- 
ten what is to follow. But she has thrown the half 
veil that covered the mystery aside. 

She was a young dramatic student at the Conser- 
vatory of Bucharest when she attracted Prince 
Carol's attention. It was during the interim be- 
tween the Zizi Lambrino affair and his marriage to 
Princess Helen. Carol's friends and enemies alike 
were anxious to have him forget Zizi and encour- 
aged his attentions in other directions. The affair 
between the young dramatic student and the Prince 
was not discouraged. The Queen became her friend. 

Carol's women friends have always remained de- 
voted to him and were always loath to accuse him 
when the affairs were discontinued. Evidently the 
interested parties appealed to the young dramatic 
student's patriotism. It was her duty to enmesh 
and hold the prince and make him forget his mor- 
ganatic wife. She wound up by falling in love with 



him. She was promised that she would be fea- 
tured as a great star in the National Theatre. Gifts 
were showered upon her. The Queen took her un- 
der her wing when Carol became engaged to Prin- 
cess Helen of Greece. 

The two young people continued to see one 
another. When Carol was married to Helen and 
had gone with her on a honeymoon, the actress too 
left the country and was never far behind the honey- 

"In London I had an apartment not far from the 
hotel where Carol and his wife were staying at that 
time. He used to come and see me frequently. I 
knew that his marriage to Helen had only been a 
'manage de convenance.* He loved me. I was 
very happy with him. But then Marie interfered. 
I left London and came to Paris." 

She married a young Roumanian army officer, 
but evidently the husband took it for granted that 
his marriage to her was only a matter of form; that 
he merely gave his name to the woman who had 
been the prince heir's friend. 

Beautiful, striking, though penniless, the young 
woman continued to live in Paris. She received oc- 
casional gifts of money from Bucharest. The Queen 
kept her in good humor by writing to her and see- 
ing her whenever she passed through the French 



The actress was still too young and too inexperi- 
enced to realize that she was being used by the 
astute matchmaker of Europe for her own purposes, 
and that she would be thrown aside when her use- 
fulness was ended. 

Then an elderly gentleman, of Roumanian 
princely blood, appeared on the scene. The man's 
reputation for avariciousness was such that people 
smiled at the young woman's impracticality. Yet, 
she did manage to inveigle him into starring her. 
She had her hour of triumph. Her name was in 
electric lights. Her pictures were everywhere. She 
was launched. She had not lived in vain. 

Suddenly, the Lupescu affair loomed on the hori- 
zon. The dark beauty was called back to Bucha- 
rest. The Queen became an even more devoted 
friend than before. 

She was told to win Carol from the red-headed 
lady. She failed. Carol was in the throes of his 
first outburst of passion for Magda Lupescu. The 
dark young woman's efforts were compensated by 
an engagement at the National Opera House. 

But the students, remembering her origin, raised 
such a rumpus the engagement was discontinued. 
She was shipped back to Paris, and promised that 
she would get backing for another play. 

Money was not plentiful in Roumania. The Rou- 
manian lei had fallen to almost nothing. The 


French franc was high. The former sweetheart of 
the prince heir lived in poverty and misery. She 
employed expedient after expedient to maintain her- 
self. It seemed as if she were destined to perish 
there of cold and hunger, when Carol made his 
famous dash for Paris, after renouncing his right to 
the throne. 

"And again I was appealed to to pull him away 
from Magda Lupescu. I waited until after the first 
flush of the affair. I managed to meet him when 
he was alone. He was very nice and kind. He al- 
ways is. But it was a difficult task. The Queen 
urged me on. My own ambition was aroused. I 
am younger and more beautiful than Magda Lu- 
pescu. I know it. He has loved me. I am sure 
of that. But it was a difficult task. I would have 
preferred a dozen failures in the theatre to that fail- 
ure. I could not hold him again. Magda Lupesca 
was stronger than I. I failed. I failed." 

And then the Queen tried to palm her off else- 
where. She hoped America might be made to take 
care of her. The talkies crimped that plan. 

When I last saw her in Paris, the turbulent gypsy- 
looking young lady was in the good graces of some 
one. She wore beautiful clothes. She travelled in 
an expensive car. She dined at the best restaurants. 

Her children, the two blonde little girls, were in 
Switzerland. The hotel bill was being paid weekly. 



ILJ'EEPLY wounded because 

she had not been included in the regency that was 
formed while King Ferdinand was still alive, Queen 
Marie began to lay her plans to force her way into 
that body which had been constituted to rule Rou- 
mania after the King's death, and until little 
Michael's majority. 

Unable to say anything derogatory about the two 
older members of the regency chief of the Greek 
Orthodox Church and chief of the Supreme Court, 
Marie very carefully and gingerly, as is her wont, 
let it be known that Prince Nicholas, the third re- 
gent, never did anything without her consent; that 
he was too frivolous to burden himself with such 
obligations unless she promised to relieve him of 
the responsibility. 

Meanwhile, Helen, the Queen Mother, was be- 
ginning to feel a little more like herself. The years 
she had spent in the palace beside these extremely 
wilful women Queen Marie and her daughters 
had been very disheartening. These years had 



taken the starch out of her. Had Carol shown any 
love or consideration for her, or had he at any time 
taken her part in the petty quarrels and jealousies 
that arose between the women, she would not 
have suffered so many humiliations. Quite natur- 
ally, though so much antagonized by his mother 
and by his sisters, Carol took their side against 
his wife whenever an occasion arose. 

The family reasoned that after all Helen was a 
rank outsider. The political reasons for which 
Carol had been made to marry her no longer ex- 
isted. She was politically of no importance what- 
soever. She was colorless and without any tempera- 
ment. It was too bad that she still hung about the 
stage. She had no role in the new play. 

But when an act of Parliament made her little son 
the future King, and she had been elevated above the 
rank of the other women in the royal household, 
Helen began to show that she had a will of her 
own. Queen Marie, who had never given her a 
thought, realized that she would have to reckon 
with her in any of her future battles. Until then 
Marie had acted as if Michael was her own young- 
est son by proxy. Indeed, it was said that the men 
who married Marie's daughters never had wives, 
they were married to the Queen's daughters and 
were her husbands by proxy. 

Marie suddenly saw a new enemy looming upon 


the horizon; saw that in the event of her own hus- 
band's death, Helen, the moth of the young King, 
might play a more important role than she would 
herself. There was already a new clique in the 
palace Helen's clique. Courtiers and politicians 
who hadn't given Helen a thought till then began 
to want to be seen by her. That was always the 
way intrigues began. 

Forthwith gossips began to spread the rumor that 
little Michael was not a normal child that he was 
deaf and dumb and that his mentality was below 
normal even at that early age. 

The gossip crossed the borders of the country and 
gained more and more credence. 

"Isn't it a pity!" 

"Too bad/' 

"Poor Helen has no luck." 

"It's the Hohenzollern blood." 

"No Helen's own family . . . you know. . . ? 

In Paris, Carol, who seemed at that time com- 
pletely detached from anything that concerned Rou- 
mania, realized what these rumors meant and went 
to a great deal of trouble to deny them. He assured 
the press and the world that the rumors were lies; 
that his son Michael was more than a normal child 
and was neither deaf nor dumb. 

Yet the rumors persisted and became precise. 

And then Queen Mother Helen, in despair, scc- 


ing what was being done to prevent her son from 
ever walking up the steps to the throne, devised a 
plan to prove to the world that her son was neither 
deaf nor dumb nor half-witted. 

She organized a grand reception in her private 
rooms while Queen Marie was away on one of her 
frequent jaunts to the Black Sea. People from all 
walks of life, and local and foreign newspaper men 
were invited to that reception. 

After tea had been served, little Michael appeared 
in the reception room and greeted all the guests 
loudly and shook hands all around. 

"How do you do? Comment ga va? How do 
you do?" 

Much to the surprise of most of the guests, the 
child chattered with them, as children will, and an- 
swered quickly and intelligently all the questions 
put to him. The more skeptical guests questioned 
the child quite closely. He answered cleverly. He 
was only five, but he already knew the alphabet 
and the figures. 

When his governess had led the little prince out 
of the room, his mother wept and said to the guests, 

"And here, my friends, you have seen the deaf 
mute and the half-idiot." 

Queen Marie was furious when she heard what 
had occurred. She came to the conclusion that 
Helen had the possibilities of either a dangerous 



enemy or a powerful ally. Helen became both. 
When it was convenient she allied herself with 
Marie, otherwise there was no love lost between the 
two. Helen wanted her son to be King. 

The conditions of the country were disastrous. 
Economically, it was on the brink of ruin. Rail- 
road employees, the army, and all other govern- 
ment employees had not been paid for months. The 
universities were no longer functioning as schools 
of learning. They were the hotbeds of sedition and 
the centers from which every disturbance emanated. 
There were several pogroms against Jews. The 
anti-Semitic faction had become so strong that no 
judge dared to condemn those who had been found 
guilty nay, those who prided themselves on being 
guilty of murder, when the victims were Jews. 
Students carried these murderers out on their shoul- 
ders from the tribunals and proclaimed them as 
national heroes. 

In addition to that, the political unrest grew. 
Prince Shtirbey's name began to be openly men- 
tioned., His deeds were spoken of frankly. While 
the Peasant Party organized itself the opposition 
papers unveiled more and more of the rascality and 
thievery of the Bratianus. Queen Marie's name was 
being linked with their shady affairs. A party of 
young men, statesmen in incubus, organized 
secretly with the avowed aim of bringing Carol 



back to the throne. The number of Carolists grew. 
They were in every branch of the government, in- 
cluding the Foreign Office. 

Neglecting her other troubles, Queen Marie cen- 
tered all her energy on preventing her son's return. 
He had to be kept away from Roumania at all costs* 
Her long arm reached him very soon. He had been 
living quietly in Paris. Under ordinary circum- 
stances, his amorous misdeeds would soon have 
been forgotten by the Roumanians and by the rest 
of the world. But Marie did not want the world 
to forget that he was unfit to be a king; that he was 
a Lothario. 

And so one day, Madame Lambrino came to 
Paris to call Prince Carol of Hohenzollern before 
the Tribunal of the Seine. 

"I, Jeanne Marie Valentine Lambrino, wife of 
Carol of Hohenzollern, living at Neuilly-sur-Seine, 
6 rue Borghese, declare that I was married to Carol 
of Hohenzollern, the then Prince heir of Roumania, 
on the 3ist of August, 1918, before the priest of the 
Orthodox Church of Odessa, who also fufilled the 
functions of a civil officer. 

"A male child called Mircea was born to us on 
the 8th of January, 1920. This marriage was an- 
nulled for dynastic reasons without either the wife 
or the husband having been consulted. To compen- 
sate me for the damages I have suffered, the family 



of my husband agreed to pay me an income of one 
hundred and ten thousand francs a year, supposedly 
the income of the capital deposited for me at the 
Banque Generale de Roumanie. I, Jeanne Marie 
Valentine Lambrino, Madame de Hohenzollern, re- 
signed myself to that situation in the interest of the 
Roumanian dynasty and also resigned myself to the 
fact that my husband was married a second time to 
assure the heredity of the throne. 

"This second marriage, I was told, was contracted 
purely as a matter of form, a statement which I can 
prove by letters from Carol of Hohenzollern, and 
by letters from people in Roumania whose authority 
has never been questioned and is incontestable. 

"I have allowed this humiliating condition to be 
imposed upon me because I was told that such an 
action would demonstrate my patriotism, and was 
in the interest of the country. 

"But on the 4th of January, 1926, Carol of Hohen- 
zollern definitely announced his renunciation of the 
throne. This renunciation was also an official re- 
nunciation of his marriage to Princess Helen of 

"However, instead of coming back to Neuilly, to 
live with me and with our son, Carol of Hohenzol- 
lern, exiled from Roumania where he has lost all 
his rights and prerogatives has come to live in Paris. 
Taking into consideration that the special situation 



that had mitigated against the marriage between 
myself and Carol of Hohenzollern had disappeared 
when he renounced the throne of Roumania, I de- 
mand that he be forced to compensate me for the 
damages which he has caused me and that he should 
be made to assure an income, in the measure of his 
means, for his wife and his child. Such damages 
are not less than ten million francs." 

Prince Carol was asked to appear before the Tri- 
bunal of the Seine to answer why he should not be 
condemned to pay the damages which Madame 
Lambrino asked. 

Had Carol still been officially heir to the throne, 
Madame Lambrino could not have sued him in 
France, but he had publicly and officially renounced 
his right to the throne; he was therefore only a 
private resident of Paris and as such he was amen- 
able to French law. 

The newspapers of the whole world were immedi- 
ately informed of what happened. Very few real- 
ized the intrigue behind this action, realized that 
they were dancing to the tune of the most astute 
political bagpiper of Europe. 

It must be remembered that until then, Mme. 
Lambrino had been refused passports whenever she 
wanted to leave her country, and had been kept vir- 
tually a prisoner in Roumania. But suddenly she 
was let loose. Four days after she had arrived in 



Paris she had instituted suit against her former hus- 
band, pretending of course that it was all done in 
order to legalize the name of her son Mircea whom 
she wanted to place in a school in Paris. 

"Under what name shall I place this poor child 
in school?'* she cried to reporters. "He is not ille- 
gitimate. He has a right to his father's name. There 
are no laws authorizing morganatic marriages o 
princes in Roumania. I am, or I was, his legal wife, 
and the child's legality has to be cleared." 

The ten million francs Madame Lambrino asked 
as damages was a specific reminder to Carol that 
unless he behaved in Paris, unless he discouraged 
the young men who had formed a party to hoist 
him back to power, his personal fortune would not 
remain intact. And about money matters Carol 
seems to have inherited a knowledge from his par- 
ents that would put him on a par with the money 
kings anywhere. 

Carol answered Madame Lambrino's action with 
the reminder to his mother and her friends that if 
he had to appear in court to defend himself, the 
affairs of certain oil wells for which concessions 
had been given to certain English firms and the 
exact role played by England in this affair would 
have to come to the fore. Suddenly the Parisian 
papers began to talk about these oil wells. What 
had happened at the transactions about those wells? 



No one knows what financial scandals would 
have been unsealed had the trial of Madame Lam- 
brino been pressed more vigorously against the 
former heir of Roumania! He had made up his 
mind to draw the veil aside from many question- 
able dealings which had until then remained mys- 
teries. He would not have stopped at anything. 
Queen Marie knew him well enough not to dare 
him. She beat a hasty retreat. 

A few months later the Lambrino case was fought 
half-heartedly before the French judges. Carol's 
wife was refused recognition. All damages were 
denied her. The legality of her son's name was not 
established. As a matter of fact, because of his il- 
legitimacy the boy was denied permission to enter 
the Lycee Michelet, where only legitimate sons of 
good burgeois are permitted on the seats of learn- 

* # * * # 

After the death of his father, angered by the fact 
that he had not been permitted to come to the fu- 
neral, Carol began to lend a more willing ear to those 
who advised him that the conditions were becom- 
ing ripe for his return to the throne. 

Instead of continuing to insist that he had re- 
nounced the throne of Roumania forever, Carol 
now began to tell newspapermen that he would re- 
turn if the people called him. In an off-guard mo- 



ment, he even said to the reporter of a French news- 
paper that party leaders had come to see him and 
asked him to reconsider the advisability of his re- 
turn. Possibly he spoke off-guard, and it is also pos- 
sible that he sent his words out as a trial balloon; 
to see what effect they would have. He may be a 
gay Lothario, but Carol of Hohenzollern is nobody's 
fool; not even his mother's. He continued to tea 
and dine secretly with those party leaders. 

One of the party leaders, Manoilescu, was arrested 
at the border line at the end of October, 1927. This 
arrest brewed a loud storm in Roumania, and the 
dynastic problem, which seemed to have been buried 
if not solved forever, arose to be one of the most 
important questions of the day. This Mr. Manoilescu, 
still young, one of Carol's old friends, had been 
under-Secretary of State in the financial department 
of General Averescu, one of Carol's occasional sup- 
porters. Averescu has penned some of the bitterest 
words ever said about a soldier, yet on other occa- 
sions he had come to Carol's rescue and protected 
his rights. 

Upon Manoilescu's arrest, Madame Lupescu was 
immediately suspected of having betrayed her lover; 
for it seemed to many that she was the only one 
who knew that Manoilescu was the bearer of letters, 
from Carol to people of political influence in the 
country. But this suspicion against Madame Lupescu 



was soon allayed, for among the letters was also 
one from Madame Lupescu to her parents, in which 
she asked them to obey Manoilescu implicitly in 
everything he asked of them, and to act and speak 
only according to his instructions. 

The anti-Semites, of course, seized this as an oc- 
casion to spread a little more hatred against the 
Jews. The Bratianus pointed out that Carol in- 
tended to return with the help of the Jews and to 
rule the country with them, through them and for 
them. Jewish heads, Jewish windows and Jewish 
pockets paid the first costs of this Carolistic blunder. 

Mr. Manoilescu was brought to court The Bra- 
tianus sought to prove that he had intended to com- 
mit a crime against the dynasty and against the se- 
curity of the state. The punishment for such crimes 
was death. The firing squad was ready. 

Meanwhile, in Paris, Carol let it be known that 
he had definitely parted from Madame Lupescu, 
that life in common between them had become im- 
possiblethat the former prince heir realized that 
he had not acted in the best interests of the country 
when he had gone away with her, and that he in- 
tended to mend his ways. The world was treated 
to the spectacle of Carol as a repentant sinner. When 
Manoilescu was caught, Carol resumed his life with 
the red-headed lady, ready to don the penitent's 
garb when necessary, not before. 



While the trial of Manoilescu was being held in 
Bucharest, Carol's home was robbed. Documents 
he possessed to prove certain intrigues were taken 
from the drawers of his writing table. It was later 
on established that these burglaries were the work 
of a certain Mr. Radoi of the political secret service 
of Roumania. But that is another story. The mys- 
terious Radoi, the phantom of Roumania's secret 
service, makes his appearance wherever needed. 

At the same time, another burglary took place 
at the home of Mademoiselle Vera Peters, of the 
Opera Comique. During her absence, some one 
broke open the secret drawers of her desk and took 
some letters and documents belonging to "an im- 
portant Roumanian political personage." 

Another intrigue was unmasked. 

At the same time another mysterious affair hap- 

One day a young Roumanian named Marinescu 
was asked by a stranger to meet him in the Bois du 
Boulogne near Paris. After a lengthy conversation 
on the political situation in Roumania, this stranger, a 
Frenchman, offered Marinescu a hundred thousand 
francs ($4,000) if he would assassinate Prince Carol. 
When Mr. Marinescu refused, the stranger black- 
jacked him and would have killed him had not 
passersby interfered. The would be criminal suc- 
ceeded in making good his escape and the French 



While the trial of Manoilescu was being held in 
Bucharest, Carol's home was robbed. Documents 
he possessed to prove certain intrigues were taken 
from the drawers of his writing table. It was later 
on established that these burglaries were the work 
of a certain Mr. Radoi of the political secret service 
of Roumania. But that is another story. The mys- 
terious Radoi, the phantom of Roumanians secret 
service, makes his appearance wherever needed. 

At the same time, another burglary took place 
at the home of Mademoiselle Vera Peters, of the 
Opera Comique. During her absence, some one 
broke open the secret drawers of her desk and took 
some letters and documents belonging to "an im- 
portant Roumanian political personage." 

Another intrigue was unmasked. 

At the same time another mysterious affair hap- 

One day a young Roumanian named Marinescu 
was asked by a stranger to meet him in the Bois du 
Boulogne near Paris. After a lengthy conversation 
on the political situation in Roumania, this stranger, a 
Frenchman, offered Marinescu a hundred thousand 
francs ($4,000) if he would assassinate Prince Carol. 
When Mr. Marinescu refused, the stranger black- 
jacked him and would have killed him had not 
passersby interfered. The would be criminal suc- 
ceeded in making good his escape and the French 



police never cleared up this mystery, any better than 
they have cleared up the two burglaries. The French 
political service is the most servile police in the 
world. Of necessity they are dumb and paralyzed. 

While the Manoilescu trial was going on, the Bra- 
tianu newspapers gossiped that Carol had offered 
them several propositions; that he was ready to 
agree never to make any effort to recoup his lost 
throne if they paid him immediately a certain 
amount of money. In other words, Carol was try- 
ing to blackmail them. The opposition papers, how- 
ever, the Carolists, wrote that they had Carol's per- 
sonal assurance that he would never attempt to enter 
Roumania by force. 

Carol answered that he had never intended to 
enter Roumania but when called by the people, yet 
he said some of the Bratianu emissaries had come 
to him and offered him considerable sums of money 
if he would promise never to listen again to those 
who tried to make him attempt to regain his throne. 
He had refused and had driven them out of his 

My own conclusions are that the money offer was 
not tempting enough and that Carol's assurances 
were not serious enough. All this piffle about honor 
and fidelity was and is only sand in the eyes of 
fools. How any people could stand for all this 
nonsense is more than I can understand. Really, 



people have such kings as they deserve. As far as 
Roumania is concerned. . . . 

In Roumania, everybody had taken it for granted 
that the judges, minions of Britianu, would make 
an example of Manoilescu. The young man was 
being tried according to military rules, under mar- 
tial law. Professor Jorga and General Averescu 
came to the defense of the accused. 

Manoilescu defended himself well and pleaded 
with great fervor. 

"My great crime is that I love my country too 
well, and love the father of a certain little blue- 
eyed boy. If the laws of my country demand that 
I pay with my life for this great love, I am ready." 

The audience wept. The judges were afraid, if 
not impressed. 

Manoilescu was acquitted and set free. 

This acquittal sounded the twentieth doom of the 
Bratianu government and nullified in a measure 
most of the intrigues of Queen Marie. It also paved 
the way for Carol's eventual return; to serve as a 
regent until his son should reach his majority. Carol 
emphasized this point again and again. He would 
not snatch the throne from his son; no. He wanted 
only to be near the little King and advise him. The 
father craved to be near his son. He was a father, 
a poor exiled father, who longed to be near his 
son and to guide him in the right paths. 



Shortly after the Manoilescu affair, Bratianu for- 
bade the meeting of the Congress of peasants at 
Alba Julia, the town in Transylvania where King 
Ferdinand had been crowned in 1922 after Tran- 
sylvania had become Roumanian territory. The 
peasants threatened with an open revolt. They had 
scythes and sickles, but the Bratianus had artillery 
machine guns. So the peasants were advised to 
return home peacefully. 

And then suddenly came an even more dramatic 

Jonel Bratianu died mysteriously at the age of 63. 
He had been a powerfully built man and had pre- 
served himself well. On the 2ist of November, 1926, 
he complained of pains in the throat. The doctor 
examined the patient and declared he suffered of 
a cold of no consequence. But the following day, 
Bratianu's throat swelled so the patient had dif- 
ficulty in breathing. A surgical operation was 
thought necessary and Professor Masta was called. 
Conscious of the importance of his actions, so people 
say, Professor Masta's hands trembled. The sur- 
geon's knife fell out of his hands, and he cut his 
own finger. Professor Angelescu, who was pres- 
ent, the then minister of Public Instruction, being 
an experienced physician, replaced his colleague and 
continued the operation. 

A few hours later another operation was neces- 


sary. Pus formed continually. The swelling of the 
throat strangled and suffocated the patient. The in- 
fection could not be localized. It spread to the vocal 
cords. They were paralyzed. The physicians called 
to the bedside of the Premier were so hysterical and 
excited that Bratianu, who was suffering terrible 
agonies, scribbled upon a piece of paper: 

"Don't be so hysterical. Do your work calmly." 

Towards the evening of the same day another 
operation was found to be absolutely necessary. On 
Wednesday, the 2$d of November, Jonel Bratianu 
was breathing artificially. Before seven o'clock that 
evening he was dead. 

The death of Jonel Bratianu threw the country 
into paroxysms of fear and despair. Those who had 
been present at the operation performed by Profes- 
sor Angelescu wondered why the hands of Profes- 
sor Masta, one of the most famous surgeons, had 
trembled. Did they tremble because of the political 
importance of his patient, or did they tremble be- 
cause he refused to carry out an order at the last 
moment? Whose order? Such minor operations 
were performed daily by the average country phy- 
sician. Why had Masta, the great surgeon, failed? 

Those who had been at the bedside of the premier 
affirmed that Professor Angelescu, a celebrated sur- 
geon also, but who had not practiced medicine for 
a number of years since he had devoted himself to 


active politics, had neglected to take any antiseptic 
precautions while he performed the operation upon 
Jonel Bratianu; that he had not even washed his 
hands with disinfectants. 

Was it carelessness? And if it was deliberately 
done, who had instigated the crime? 

"That Bratianu was murdered, there is no doubt. 
If we could but find out which party murdered him 
we would at least know how to orient ourselves/ 5 
a Roumanian politician said to me a day after Bra- 
tianu's death. There was no question of punish- 
ing the murderer. That simple thing was known 
to be beyond the power of any one, no matter which 
party was responsible for it. 

Had the Carolists done it, or had the palace be- 
come impatient with Bratianu who was continually 
threatening to throw out the Hohenzollerns of Rou- 
mania ? Many people had expected him to declare 
Roumania a republic with himself as Premier for 
life. He had the power to do it. No one would 
have opposed him. The whole country was sick 
and tired of the dissolute crew in the royal house. 
What had prevented Bratianu from carrying out 
these plans was a sentimental attachment to the 
memory of the work of his father. 

It should be remembered that it was Jon Bratianu, 
father of Jonel, who had brought Carol the First 
to Roumania. Jonel Bratianu was loath to have 



people say that what the father had done the son 
had undone. It should be remembered that Jon 
Bratianu had been canonized as a sort of Rou- 
manian saint and had been made to appear as the 
father of his country; the Washington of Roumania. 

The Queen and all the royal palace had for a 
long time banked on this sentimentality of the ruth- 
less Jonel. They had not taken his threats very seri- 
ously to begin with, but as he repeated them oftener, 
and oftener, they must have come to the conclusion 
that the day was not far off when the Prime minister 
would permit his mind to talk louder than his heart. 
They had tried his patience too frequently. They 
must have heard the reverberating echo of his 
words from the walls of the Palace: 

"Madame, another word and I shall rid the coun- 
try of your family forever." 

Roumanian politicians and Roumanian news- 
papermen refused to believe that Bratianu's death 
was an accident. . They refused to believe that 
Masta's hands trembled and refused to believe that 
Angelescu had forgotten to wash his hands. 

They did not believe in miracles. The death of 
Jonel Bratianu served certain parties too well not 
to arouse suspicion. Now the parties directly in- 
volved in this affair are all dead. The mystery is 
sealed in their graves. 

As a matter of form the opposition parties and 


the Peasant Party allowed Vintila Bratianu to take 
over the government and form a new cabinet with 
the same men who had served under his brother. 
Everybody knew Vintila Bratianu could not hold 
the power for any length of time. The opposition 
merely permitted this weak government to form 
itself in order not to give too great credence to the 
belief that had spread amongst the people that they 
had killed Bratianu in order to come into power. 

And now people definitely began to direct their 
eyes towards Paris. Carol's return became a matter 
of days and weeks. No one doubted that it would 
happen. Something had to be done. Carol or a 

Conditions in Roumania were more serious than 
they had been heretofore. They were bad enough 
under Jonel Bratianu. They became worse under 
his vacillating brother. 
And suddenly the cry arose: 
"We must obtain a loan from America." 
Some spoke of a hundred million dollars and 
others said that two hundred and three hundred 
was the sum needed to put the affairs of the country 
in order. Millions. Hundreds of millions were 
needed. America had all the gold in the world. 
Everybody was borrowing money from America, 



Why not Roumania? It was a rich country. It 
had no cash but it had wealth, unexploited riches. 

Railroad communication had become almost im- 
possible. The locomotives the Roumanians had taken 
from the Hungarians after the war and those which 
they had bought from France, were mostly out of 
commission, and were cluttering up the repair 

It must be said here again that for unexplainable 
reasons, the cash in circulation in Greater Roumania, 
a country of eighteen million inhabitants, was the 
same amount it had been when the country had been 
one of only six million inhabitants. A good deal of 
that cash had become paralyzed in a few hands, due 
to the speculations of the Bratianu banking houses. 
Only they had money. It was lent on interest at 
thirty, forty and fifty per cent. 

The cry was out that Roumania needed money 
for the stabilization of its currency, which fluctuated 
daily from ten to fifty per cent of its value, and 
robbed the merchants of their confidence. 

The newspapers took up the cry. That proposed 
loan began to appear not as a banking transaction, 
but as a veritable Messiah that would save the 
country from all ills. America held the horn of 
plenty in its hands. 

Peasants, working men, merchants, politicians, 
statesmen and even children in the schools were 


made to believe that the foreign loan would save 
the country. The Vintila Bratianu government 
argued that unless Roumania presented a united 
front to the world, and gave the impression that 
it had a stable government and had settled down or 
intended to settle down to real work from then on, 
they could obtain no loan anywhere. 

That statement was a grand coup. It did more 
to quiet the opposition than any other statement had 
ever done. 

"If necessary, and until we get the money from 

The Peasant Party continued its opposition but in 
a mild and civilized form. The order was given 
that all pogroms and persecutions of the Jews must 
cease. It was pointed out that the Jews had tremen- 
dous financial power in America and that they 
would undoubtedly oppose any loan to a country in 
which their brethren were being persecuted and 

To salve the wound, a few Jews were elected to 
Parliament at the new elections. One of the leaders 
of the Jews, indeed, the leader, joined the Liberal 
Party, which had until then been known as the anti- 
Semitic Party. Thus the Liberal Party was conse- 
crated as the party favorable to the Jews. An 
influential and well known Roumanian Jewish 
newspaperman was sent to New York to pacify 



and to give assurances to the Jews of America. 

Conversations were started by the secretary of 
finance with several important banking houses in 
France and in Germany. A consortium of bankers 
agreed to raise the loan, provided Roumania agreed 
to put its house in order. There was plenty of 
money loose in the world. It could be gathered. 
The interest to be paid depended upon the stability 
of the country that wanted to borrow it. 

"Put your house in order." 

It was intimated that the Queen must be made 
to understand that she must behave; and that the 
Carol affair had to be allowed to dissipate itself. The 
Roumanians were told that no people would buy 
the bonds of a country of which the government 
was unstable. They were told that they had to take 
it for granted that King Michael would become the 
King upon reaching his majority, and that the re- 
gency would rule until then. 

The Roumanian government promised. 

Then the consortium of bankers, having consulted 
with legal lights, began to point out to the Rou- 
manian government that certain laws had to be 
modified before foreign capital would consent to 
come into the country. The law about foreigners, 
for one, would have to be modified, and the mining 
laws would have to be changed so as to permit for- 
eign capital to exploit the oil wells. 



The Roumanian government promised. 

"We will do as you say." 

But the loan, which at first had seemed merely 
an affair of days, was not forthcoming, and the 
stormy petrels began to lose patience. The anti- 
Semitic press again reared its head and declared that 
the country was being Jewified; that the Jews were 
raising their noses a little too high. 

"And we haven't got the money yet. How will 
they behave when we get it?" 

Some said that it might have been more expedi- 
ent to threaten to kill the Jews if money was not 
forthcoming soon. 

A Roumanian commission was sent to Paris to 
confer with the bankers. But the affair dragged 
and dragged. The conditions imposed by the inter- 
national bankers became more and more stringent. 
They demand greater and greater guarantees. They 
demanded the control of the finances of the country. 
They demanded to act as receivers until the loan 
was paid. 

They wanted to know how much of the money 
would be spent for the improvement of the rail- 
roads; how much would have to be spent for the 
stabilization of the currency, and how much would 
be used to pay immediate internal debts. 

The Roumanians wondered who informed the 
bankers and who advised them. 



Roumania's financial experts had never been very 
precise in their accounts. The international bank- 
ers however had their own experts working in Rou- 
mania, and their figures varied greatly from those 
given them by the Roumanians. 

The Roumanian papers carried daily bulletins 
about the progress of the affair; as they had carried 
daily bulletins in other days about the progress of 
the war, or of the illness of their King. 

"The condition of the loan is improving," the 
wits said. 

"The condition of the loan has taken a turn for 
the worse. The doctors assure us that there is no 

And then one banking group after another gave 
up the project. This continual bartering between 
the banks and the representatives of Roumania was 
one of the most curious banking deals in Europe. 
The guarantees demanded for the loan were harsh. 
There were other humiliating conditions, to say the 
least, that were demanded of the country. The Rou- 
manians agreed. And still the transactions dragged 
along. The more the banking firms obtained the 
more they wanted. Finally they demanded that the 
revenue of the whole country be mortgaged to them 
and that France and England guarantee the loan. 

The opposition papers desisted from any vicious 
attacks on their government, but as the affair 



dragged on, they began to make the failure of the 
loan one of their weapons against the Liberals. The 
anti-Semites and the Queen and her entourage lost 
patience. The Queen had become interested in a 
new friend, and she shifted her "seclusion" from 
one place to another, leaving behind her a long trail 
of photographs in new poses. Princess Ileana too 
had gotten into some new scrape which displeased 
everybody. The bankers felt they could not sell 
bonds of a country that had made itself so ridicu- 
lous that no one believed it really existed outside of 
the press, the movies, the theatre and the vaudeville 

Finally, after a long time, and much worry and 
humiliation, the loan was obtained; a much smaller 
loan than had been anticipated with much more 
onerous conditions than was thought possible. Rou- 
tnania agreed. 

The Roumanian currency was stabilized at one- 
fortieth of its former value. A few locomotives 
were repaired. A few debts were paid. The Mes- 
siah had come, but he did not save anything. Con- 
ditions continued as before, and now those who had 
hoped for so much from the loan, began to ask 
one another: 

"What has happened to the money?" 

"When did it come?" 

"Where did it come from?" 


American Jewry would pour its gold into Ro- 

The disappointed rabble continued its old time ac- 
tivities and amusements. Jews were again thrown 
out of trains. Jewish women were again driven out 
of theatres and public places. Roumanians who 
had a more or less Oriental appearance were cruelly 
beaten and almost killed when they too were taken 
for Jews. 

One of the Roumanian delegates to the parlia- 
mentary Congress at Washington said, in my pres- 
ence, to a group of Jews: 

"Worry not, gentlemen, when a few dozen win- 
dows are broken. We have a glass factory at Azuga. 
It needs business. When heads are broken I prom- 
ise to interfere from now on. It is your duty not 
to make too much noise when glass shatters. Re- 
member to save the heads. Don't worry about the 
glass. It is a cheap outlet for a spirited youth." 

And then the Vintila government crashed, and 
the Maniu government came into power. 



JLHE change was rather an 

unexpected one. Some even accused Shtirbey of 
new machinations, saying that it was he who had 
urged upon the regency that Vintila Bratianu 
had served his purpose. The Prime minister 
was called and asked to resign* He was 
dismissed with the same informality with which 
one dismisses an office boy. A close friend of his 
told me that for days on end, Vintila Bratianu 
walked around up and down in his room, biting 
his finger nails and moaning: 

"They have dismissed me like an office boy. They 
have dismissed me like an office boy." 

But he was gone. His political power was ended. 
Maniu and his people were in the saddle. The 
people who had not been permitted to hold a con- 
gress at Alba Julia were in power. Maniu gave the 
impression of a civilized man. New hope was in- 
stilled into the hearts of the people. Maniu declared, 
quite openly, that though the country and the 
treasury had been looted by the Liberals, he in- 



tended to put the house in order. He and his asso- 
ciates were from Transylvania which had formerly 
been a Hungarian province. They had been edu- 
cated in German schools. 

But these Transylvanians who had agitated so 
much in favor of Roumania when they lived under 
the Hungarians, who had yearned so fervently to 
belong again to the mother country, began, upon 
their assumption of power, to treat Roumania like 
conquered territory. In other words, they treated 
the old kingdom in much the same manner as the 
Roumanians had treated Transylvania after they had 
conquered it. They were new Roumanians. They 
hated the old ones. 

The Transylvanians considered themselves su- 
perior to the other Roumanians. Their superiority 
bred contempt. They told the peasants that they 
were there in their interest. Yet there never had 
been greater robbery, greater misappropriation of 
funds than under the Maniu government. Bribery, 
trickery, graft were elevated to an institution. It 
was no longer winked at. It was demanded and 
accepted openly. 

Meanwhile, Queen Marie had again awakened 
from a coma during which she had paid little at- 
tention to the affairs of the country. Her fresh en- 
thusiasms, coming at an advanced age, left little 
energy for anything else. But here was the Maniu 


government, and the danger of Carol's return was 
becoming greater each day. Maniu, Manoilescu, 
Mironescu, were woven together. Half of Manila's 
collaborators were avowed or secret Carolists. 

It was still forbidden to mention Carol's name in 
public or in the public prints. Yet this interdiction 
did not prevent the active propaganda that was go- 
ing on in favor of the former heir to the throne. 
The old story about Carol's abdication was brought 
to the fore again. The old accusations were re- 
hashed. The Epoca attacked the dowager more and 
more vigorously. Queen Marie retaliated in the 
only way she knew how by a special campaign of 
publicity. It was her most frequently used weapon. 
The edge was a little dull from too much use, but 
it was still a good bludgeon. 

This time the press campaign was one entirely 
in favor of Michael and "the poor neglected 
mother" of the little King. Pictures of the little boy 
appeared in the rotogravure sections of papers and 
magazines, in and out of season. In and out of 
places. The Queen knew the value of repetition. 
Close upon the praises for little Michael's prowesses 
and extraordinary intelligence, came loud praises 
for Queen Helen's faithfulness and exemplary con- 
duct. No one could reproach her with anything. 
Not an affair of the heart; not a single enthusiasm. 
She lived solely for the little boy her little son 



King, and gave him a thorough education. She was 
a saint. The Saint of Roumania. Heartless Carol! 
Grandmother could not refrain from appearing 
with her beloved little grandson, from time to time, 
in the pictures; she could not resist going with him 
to functions of parliament and to social functions 
where a moving picture camera or a news-reel 
camera were on hand. He was such a lovely boy! 
Poor half orphan! And he had such a lovely 
mother. She was almost blind, true, but she was 
such an exemplary mother. She could not help her 
son rule the country but she was such a lovely 
mother. She was rather plain and placid, but she 
was such a devoted Christian! 

It was about this time that Prince Nicholas sobered 
up and realized the true condition of affairs. 

No man wants to be known as a fool and a pup- 
pet. It was known that his own voice was abso- 
lutely nil in the regency; that when he was con- 
sulted it was merely as a matter of form, for it was 
known that his voice was but the echo of his 

The regents, who had been the tools of Bratianu, 
became the tools of Maniu who was not inclined 
to run the country to suit the "Englishwoman." 
Then the Carolists approached Prince Nicholas and 



attracted his attention to die injustices that had been 
committed at the address of his brother. Prince 
Nicholas had a great affection for his older brother 
but that affection had been stifled by Queen Marie, 
who refused to have any of her children think of 
anybody but her. To love someone else while she 
was around was a crime; not because she was 
thirsty for the love of her people or kin, but because 
she wanted to possess everything and everybody 
about her. She was and is a spiritual vampire. 

Nicholas showed that he had an opinion of his 

Marie came storming down upon Bucharest from 
one of her dozen secluded and well-photographed 
retreats. Nicholas opposed her. However, he was 
flattened out. Marie used every argument. There 
was no reticence or hesitation about her words. She 
was the head of the Hohenzollern house in Rou- 
mania and everybody had to know it. Particularly 

Helen was a strong ally of hers now. They had 
the same interest; that of preventing Carol from 
ever returning to the country. Was Nicholas for 
or against her ? No one had a will of his own when 
she was about. 

"I am the King. I. I. I. You will do a*> I tell 

Nicholas promised half-heartedly, 


Shtirbey was still one of her allies, despite the 
fact that the power of the Bratianus was gone, and. 
that others had displaced him in her affections. 

He still had a strong grip upon the country 
through its financial affairs which were still in the 
hands of the Liberals. The ranks were still, more 
or less, at the beck and call of the Shtirbey and 
Bratianu families. The Liberals and Peasants 
seemed to have come to a secret understanding be- 
tween themselves. 

"We leave you the treasury of the government 
you give us the business affairs of the country." 

The rift between the Peasant Party really be- 
tween Maniu and the Queen grew wider and 
wider. The only voice she had in the management 
of Roumania was that of Nicholas in the regency, 
and when that son of hers threatened to fail her, 
Queen Marie brought forth all the weapons at her 

Strange rumors began to circulate about Nicholas. 
He could not speak to a woman without the news 
being broadcast. The press began to speak of "a 
certain young man of the royal household who had 
better behave and stay indoors when he is not 

It was not very specific, was it? Discreet, eh? 

When this little warning had not acted as a deter- 
rent to Prince Nicholas, these rumors were made 



to cross the border and the press of the whole world 
was treated to the beginning of a new scandal. 
Nicholas intended to abduct a very young lady ---- 

When Princess Ileana, who had been Marie's 
steady companion throughout her travels, sided with 
her brother she was equally punished. The little 
scandals in her life were given to the world. 

Nicholas walked in the right path for a while. 
The rotogravure sections published pictures of him 
with his little nephew. 

These petty scandals and intrigues of the royal 
household continued while the affairs of the coun- 
try sagged lower and lower. The unpaid police 
went into partnership with the burglars. Soldiers 
begged for food. The collector of taxes pocketed 
the receipts. People had to bribe teachers when 
they wanted their children to be promoted from one 
class to the other; bribe with bread, meat and eggs. 

Small external loans, at high interest, were being 
contracted continually by the Maniu government, 
who indebted the country beyond its capacity of 
payment. Monopolies were being sold, concessions 
were being given, while new laws were being made 
to prevent these monopolies and these concessions 
from being valid. I shall speak elsewhere of the 
most unheard of law called "the preventive mora- 

I have seen with my own eyes, soldiers without 


shoes on their feet and in clothes so tattered that 
their bodies were exposed to the wind and the cold. 
They had neither weapons nor food nor clothes. 
They were starved and emaciated beyond belief. 
The Maniu government continued to "save" the 
country. The Queen continued to increase its repu- 
tation abroad. 

It passes belief that the people could endure such 
poverty and such hardships for so long without re- 
volting. It passes belief that the people could be 
put to sleep again and again by false sirens; wait- 
ing for a better day while they worked so hard for 
so little, and while the rulers worked so little for 
so much. 

The land that had been given to the peasants, to 
stave off a possible revolution, after the war, had been 
parcelled out in such a way that no family could 
eke out the barest living from the product of the 
land. Cooperative association between the peasants 
had been forbidden by the Bratianu government, 
because cooperation threatened to become com- 
munism under certain circumstances. The peas- 
ants had to work their land without the advantages 
of modern machinery* Instead of wheatfields of 
thousands of acres, the fields were now hacked out 
into fields of ten, twenty or thirty acres. The wheat 
of Roumania, which had formerly ranked as the 
third best in the world, was lowered to a nonde- 



script quality. Few merchants wanted to buy it ex- 
cept for internal consumption. It sold, when it 
sold, at a price little above the cost of seeding. 

Roumania, which had exported thousands of tons 
of wheat before the war at the highest prices, could 
export nothing even at the lowest possible price. 
The industries of Transylvania had come to a stand- 
still, due to the difficulties of obtaining credit, diffi- 
culties of distribution, and difficulties of exportation. 
Indeed, so many difficulties were put in the path 
of the industrialists that they preferred to see their 
mills closed. The banks of the Bratianus acquired 
more and more factories and mills. Property, land, 
lost all value. The peasants, unable to make a liv- 
ing out of the land, abandoned it and went to the 
cities. Those who still held on did so only because 
they hoped to be able to sell it back to the old 
boyars; from whom it had been taken when it was 
given to them. The law gave to the peasants the 
right to sell their land ten years after it was given 
to them. 

The oil wells which had furnished a great deal 
of income to the government, and also employment 
to thousands of people, were more or less at a stand- 
still. Not one-fourth of the capacity of the Rou- 
manian oil wells has ever been extracted. Yet due 
to taxes and graft and speculation, oil and gasoline 
were expensive in Roumania even more so than 



in the United States, despite the fact that the wages 
in Roumania are not one-tenth of what they are 
in the United States. 

Maniu and his associates were continually prom- 
ising better days in the future, airing their griev- 
ances against the Bratianus, looting the country 
and its treasury. The Queen was fighting her own 
fights in the press of the world, bringing more and 
more ridicule upon her own head and opprobrium 
upon her children. 

Princess Ileana became engaged to a German 
prince whose reputation was such that the Rou- 
manian Parliament had to declare the engagement 
null. In the discussion about that Prince it was 
brought out that he had been found guilty of im- 
moral sexual practices in Germany. Yet the Prin- 
cess Ileana persisted. Queen Marie took her 
daughter for a short voyage to Cairo. 

Marie's opponents, who had learned to use the 
weapon of publicity as well as she had, brought out 
the fact that Ileana continued to see the German 
prince, despite the interdiction of the government. 
She threatened to marry him. The government 
threatened to cut of? her income if she did so. Every 
one of Marie's children receives a yearly grant from 
the treasury of the country. 

Queen Marie herself had a new enthusiasm, in 
the person of a banker, whose name has never been 



a very favorable one to Roumanian ears. Nicholas 
raised his head. He had taken decisions at the 
regency without consulting his mother. 

The news was given out to the world that the 
prince intended to resign from the regency because 
he wanted to elope with another man's wife. A 
little family habit. The Queen^ of course, would do 
her best to make him mend his ways. 

And when that wasn't enough, the news was 
broadcast that he raced about Bucharest in a pow- 
erful car, speeding, regardless of traffic rules, bump- 
ing into other cars that were in his path, beating 
up people, slapping women, insulting everybody* 
He was made to appear like a raving maniac who 
would have been committed to an asylum were he 
not of kingly blood. 

Marie discovered that Nicholas was actually in 
correspondence with his brother. The whole world 
crashed down upon her ears. More photographs. 
More news. Reams of paper were fed to the news 
artillery. All the cannons were fired at once. 

Close upon that, one of the regents died. And 
again people shook their heads. No. It was too 
ridiculous for words. It was all too convenient. 
True, that regent was an old gentleman, but he had 
died too suddenly, too conveniently. What would 
the world say? "We won't be able to obtain 
any credit." 



The Maniu government began to bicker with the 
Queen. She insisted that she alone must replace 
the dead regent. If they would not agree to take 
her into that body she wanted at least to put one 
more of her own men in. 

Another loan was dangling. Roumania was in 
great need of money. The hesitating, vacillating 
Maniu government did not know how to put a curb 
on the demands of the irascible lady. They wanted 
to .avoid scandal. American money was in the 

They entered into discussions with Marie. What 
they wanted was peace, peace until they had made 
a new loan. Marie also knew that they wanted 
peace. She was bargaining with them to sell them 
that peace at a price. 

The world has seldom been treated to such a 
bartering feast. There was no dignity, no shame, 
no reticence. Fishmongers in markets have never 
exhibited as little delicacy. Marie's friends, those 
with a little finer sensibilities, were outraged when 
foreign newspapers were put under their noses. It 
was enough to be known as a Roumanian anywhere 
in the world, in the United States, or in Cuba, in 
France, in Germany or in Italy, to have people shrug 
their shoulders. 

"Oh! One of Queen Marie's subjects!" 

Morals and objects were questioned closely. 


Roumanians cried out, "But she is not a Rou- 
manian. She is an Englishwoman!" 

I have known good patriotic Roumanians who 
have preferred to call themselves Bulgarians while 
this affair lasted. And then the Carolist forces came 
to the surface. 

The peasants began to mutter strange words. Rus- 
sia or a King. "We won't plow our land." They be- 
gan to drink a little more than usual. They refused 
to pay taxes. They killed their chickens and ate 
them. They came to the city and amused them- 
selves instead of saving their few cents for the win- 
ter. They took things. They sabotaged. The gov- 
ernment hunted for Communist propagandists* The 
peasants pointed out to the police the people to 
whom they owed money. The jails filled. Jails? 
Did I say jails? Not in the oldest meaning of the 
world. Dungeons. Cement tombs. 

This and that was forbidden to say and to do. Dy- 
ing was the only action allowed. 

The mutterings became louder. 

Russia or a King. Carol. Why not? He is a 
man. A virile man. Virile men make good kings. 
One of our kings, Stephan, had thirty-four wives. 

The Jews! Yes. The Jews. Let's kill the Jews. 
They have money. Russia or a King of our own. 
We don't want to be ruled by a child. Let's go to 



I saw the delegations of peasants who came to 
Bucharest to settle matters. They begged from the 
passerby and slept on the streets. Some had been 
there for six months and never got any nearer to the 
palace than its gates. Policemen drove them away, 
arrested them, beat them. 

"But we want to see our King," they cried. 

Some of them never returned to their homes. 
They still wander over the country and tell the tale 
of what has happened to them. 



several weeks the 
newspapers and magazines of the United States, 
and those of the rest of the world, treated their 
readers to an interesting little story, the scene of 
which was laid in dear old London. The story, of 
no importance, was merely an interesting item prov- 
ing how an enterprising young man can, with a 
little luck and much perseverance, become very 
wealthy in a foreign land. It was what the news- 
papers generally call a "human interest" story. 

Towards the end of the war, a young Roumanian 
gentleman, by the name of Jonescu, came to reside 
in London. Why in London ? There are many sen- 
timental explanations. The young man had lived 
in Paris for a short time. After weeks of a rather 
kaleidoscopic life, which included sleeping under 
bridges and starving, this young gentleman, though 
not without education, obtained work in a Soho 
restaurant where he was put to work washing dishes 
and doing other menial work about the place. He 
was not exactly fitted for the work, and the work 



was not exactly congenial to the man; but it was 
the best thing for the moment. 

One day a stranger came to that little restaurant. 
He dined well. The food pleased him. The wines 
agreed with him. The liqueur was just what it was 
supposed to be. But when the coffee came, the 
client recriminated. He did not like it. It wasn't 
good. It wasn't to his taste. A fresh pot of coffee 
was brought and yet the gentleman was displeased, 
Had the proprietor of the restaurant been an 
Englishman, the affair would have ended there. But 
he was an Italian and wanted to please his customer. 
He went into the kitchen and made the coffee him- 
self. The client was still displeased. 

Suddenly, the dishwasher and plate carrier asked 
the cook's permission to be allowed to prepare the 
coffee for the client. 

Since everything had been tried to please the 
diner, Jonescu was told to try his hand. He ground 
the kernels down fine and prepared the drink ac- 
cording to his own lights. When the steaming cup 
was presented to the strange gentleman, he in- 
haled its aroma, tasted it, rolled his eyes and de- 
clared that it was the best coffee he had ever drunk. 
Then the owner of the restaurant and the cook 
tasted it. It was wonderful coffee. They had never 
tasted anything like it. In reality, it was coffee pre- 
pared in the Turkish manner, the way it is usually 



drunk in Roumania, and which the average Lon- 
doner knew nothing about. 

The following day, that gentleman returned to 
the restaurant and brought some friends with him. 
After a copiously "wet" meal, the stranger turned 
to his friends and said, "And now for the piece de 
resistance the coffee!" 

The dishwasher was momentarily relieved of his 
duties and was asked to prepare the brew. When he 
had done so and it was served, the other clients also 
declared that it was the best coffee they had ever 
tasted. Jonescu was presented to them and hand- 
somely rewarded for his good offices. 

These men brought other clients. Within a few 
days the dishwasher was relieved of his other duties 
and was elevated to the office of coffee-maker of the 
restaurant. His name was known and the clients 
jocularly called the coffee he prepared the "Jonescu 

Placid London can be very romantic. The little 
Soho restaurant began to be frequented by artists 
and writers. The good news was spread to the 
connoisseurs. Jonescu's salary was raised and there 
were some who pretended to know when the cook, 
and not Jonescu, prepared the coffee. 

Stories began to circulate about the strange young 
man who worked in this little restaurant. Like most 
Roumanians, Jonescu spoke a little French and a 



little German. He had good manners. His voice 
was agreeable, cultivated. He was courteous, with- 
out being humble, and he wore his clothes well. 
He was therefore, romantic ladies concluded, a 
prince in disguise. 

It cannot be said that Jonescu discouraged the 
little stories that were circulated about him. He had 
an eye for business. He had suffered hunger and 
starvation too long not to have guessed the advan- 
tages that could be derived from such favorable cir- 
cumstances. And since the clientele of that little 
restaurant had been attracted by him, he very soon 
threatened the owner to leave unless he was made 
a partner to the business. The owner agreed. The 
restaurant was enlarged and became known as the 
Jonescu restaurant. 

London flocked to it. The food, the wines, the 
liqueurs improved in quality. The prices also im- 
proved. A new set of waiters was engaged; wait- 
ers who looked a little more in keeping with the 
newly decorated place. Jonescu prospered. The 
restaurant became too small to accommodate all 
those who clamored to sit at its tables. Another 
restaurant and another were added to it. The Rou- 
manian gentleman added the coffee business to that 
of the restaurant, employed his profits carefully, 
multiplied them, and was soon wealthy enough to 
buy himself a magnificent suburban estate. 




Then Roumanian officials living in London began 
to take cognizance of him. He was making Rou- 
mania famous. He became an important man and 
his home began to be frequented by political and 
artistic personages who resided, or happened to be 
visiting in London. 

It is not known what other traffics and businesses 
Jonescu had added to the restaurant and coffee busi- 
ness, but he must have added some, since it is in- 
credible that he could have become wealthy so 
rapidly, from coffee and food alone. 

Jonescu had political ambitions. His stay in Lon- 
don was not a mere accident, and his ability to ac- 
quire wealth was not his only one. That merely 
showed that a man of genius could apply himself 
to anything he might choose and outdo the most 
talented in any profession. Great men are like that. 

Jonescu married. His home became the gather- 
ing center of the elite of the elite among the for- 
eigners living in England. The dishwashing epi- 
sode became ancient history in two years. 

The originator of the Jonescu coffee visited the 
once prince heir to the throne in Paris, and was 
seen with him in several public places. When ques- 
tioned, Mr. Jonescu answered that he was free to 
visit whomsoever he pleased; that while in Paris 
he had gone to pay his respects to the prince heir, 
whom he loved, and whose political aims were also 



his. He was a patriot, Mr. Jonescu. Successful men 
are like that. They have opinions on coffee, art, 
politics. They are strong men. Strong men have 

Shortly after that Mr. Jonescu, who had grown 
still more wealthy in the interval, speculating on 
the fluctuating Roumanian currency, and was now 
very much interested in aviation, received Prince 
Carol, who had come to return the visit Jonescu had 
paid him in Paris. Carol's visit had been planned 
to remain a secret, but somehow the Parisian re- 
porters got hold of the news and the whole world 
soon knew that Prince Carol and his red-headed 
friend were being entertained at Jonescu's suburban 
home, and that some political men had followed 
him there and were in conference with him. Jonescu 
became a world figure; because he knew how to pre- 
pare coffee in the Turkish fashion. 

Bucharest was in a turmoil. Paris was in a tur- 
moil. Things were being plotted at Jonescu's home. 
Carol, when tracked by reporters, assured them that 
he had came merely on a friendly visit to Mr. 
Jonescu; that like any other human being he was 
free to come and go as he pleased. He asked the 
world to leave him alone. Soon Scotland Yard men 
made their appearance on the Jonescu grounds and 
began to check up on everybody wlio went in and 
out and to question the servants of the house a little 



more closely and a little more intensively as the 
hours went by. Mr. Jonescu and his wife protested 
against this interference. Cables, from Roumania 
to the press of the world, became more explicit as 
they became more hysterical, about the intent of the 
Prince heir. 

"Will England permit that her land should be 
made the jumping off place of one who intends to 
endanger the security of a friendly nation?" 

This was the trend of most of the questions in the 
foreign press. 

Jonescu's life was reviewed in detail and his sud- 
den interest in aviation was discussed. Roumania 
was in danger because a man who had been unable 
to make a living in his own country had succeeded 
in a foreign country. Roumania has never explained 
the success of some of her exiles otherwise than by 
the gullibility of foreign countries. 

Then the English government was appealed to. 
(By Queen Marie?) Scotland Yard worked 
quietly, rapidly, and discovered that arrangements 
had been made for a plane to wait at Croydon; to 
take off at any moment Carol might choose. 

Scotland Yard detectives proceeded energetically 
to do what they were ordered to do. They spoke 
to the former heir to the Roumanian throne in no 
uncertain tones. They told him that unless he de- 
parted immediately by the same route that he had 



come, and left the plane where it was, they would 
expel him from English soil, in their own way. 
Carol and his entourage protested against this inter- 
ference, and against the tone which was used, but 
the men of Scotland Yard were not to be put off. 
They gave their victim but a few hours in which 
to pack and go. 

And pack and go Carol did. Accompanied by 
Madame Lupescu he returned to Paris. The Rou- 
manian Ambassador to the French republic, Mr. 
Diamandi, a friend of Marie's, had had an active 
part in Carol's expulsion from England. How much 
the Roumanian ambassador to England was in- 
volved is still a secret to many. 

This affair lasted but a few days. But how the 
wires of the press of the world hummed during these 
hours. How the point was driven home again and 
again that Carol had actually been expelled from 
England that the former Prince heir had been ex- 
pelled from England! 

How this was explained again and again to the 
people of Roumania! They had been saved from 
ignominy. Had Carol not been exiled he would have 
brought the greatest shame upon them. He had 
behaved in such a manner that a foreign country 
had expelled him! It was made to appear that Eng- 
land had expelled him because of Madame Lu- 



pescu's presence. This was made the excuse of more 
pogrom against the Jews. 

Indirect pressure was being brought upon France 
to do likewiseto expel Carol. It was pointed out 
that France too would commit a breach of inter- 
national etiquette if she allowed a resident guest to 
plot against the security of a friendly country within 
the walls of her cities. It was pointed out again 
and again that eventually Carol would attempt to 
make a flight from there to Roumania; that French 
soil would be made the jumping-off place for a coup 
d'etat that might endanger the established order of 
Roumania. Was France a friend of Roumania or 
not? Why didn't France follow the example of 

But France, true to her old principle of giving 
asylum to political exiles, refused to budge or to 
take any measures contrary to her old traditions. 
When it comes to fundamentals, France is the only 
civilized country of Europe. 

When the affair had blown over it was felt in 
Europe that England had been made a scapegoat. No 
one could have been absolutely certain that Carol 
had intended to make a flight from England to Rou- 
mania. It was pointed out that he had no reason to 
put greater distance than was necessary between him- 
self and the country he wanted to reach. It would 



have been simpler for Carol to leave from some- 
where in France, and thus establish a shorter dis- 
tance to Bucharest. But Roumanian wiseacres and 
Queen Marie's friends remarked that the multimil- 
lionaire, Jonescu, had insisted that the flight be made 
from England if possible from his own front door. 
That he who had contributed most of the money 
for this expedition, wanted to derive from it the 
greatest possible benefits; increase the reputation of 
the Jonescu coffee and the clientele of his restau- 
rants. Jonescu, they said, wanted some publicity; 
wanted to advertise himself. 

The whole affair smacked a little of the ridiculous. 
However, in the light of the things that happened 
later on, the Jonescu-Croydon-Carol affair had been 
as serious as Queen Marie had guessed in her fright. 
Marie was right. Her intuition if not her mind 
had guided her will. Passionate women have deep 
seated intuitions. 

The reason Carol had preferred to fly from Croy- 
don instead of from Le Bourget or any other French 
airport, was that he wanted to put Madame Lupescu 
in security before leaving. Jonescu had promised 
to take care of the red-headed lady until he received 
orders telling him what to do with her, from his 
newly made King in Bucharest. Carol had hoped 
to obtain a little more secrecy for his movements in 
London than he could have obtained in Paris. How 



the information had leaked out remains a secret. 

Some say that Jonescu himself, at the last mo- 
ment, thought it advisable to break the secrecy and 
had imparted all the tidings to newspaper cor- 
respondents* Others still accuse Madame Lupescu 
of duplicity, and point out that she acted not only 
because she was in the service of Carol's enemies, 
but also because she was madly in love with the 
Prince, and did not want to relinquish him even 
when an opportunity had presented itself to him to 
regain his place on the throne. 

"That woman loves him," people said, and pro- 
nounced the word love with the same intonation 
as they would have said "hate." 

Upon his return to Paris, Carol denied vigorously 
his "London intentions." He affirmed again and 
again that he felt that the time was not very far off 
when the Roumanian people would awaken and 
send for him. 

"I will not go there by plane nor will I go there 
secretly. They know where I am when they want 
me. I shall wait here until they send a special train 
from Bucharest to Paris to get me. Under no other 
conditions will I return to Roumania." 

He lied. But then a King must also be somewhat 
of a diplomat. 

Queen Marie made one of her special visits to 
Paris, and though she never even had a glimpse of 



Carol, the newspapers reported that the two had 
greeted one another affectionately and that they had 
come to a perfect understanding. 

Understanding as to what ? 

Carol had been very anxious to see his son. He 
was pining away for his son. The royal mother 
assured the world that she would not deprive her 
oldest son of such pleasure. Yet, lest this react in 
Carol's favor, because he showed such parental soli- 
citude, Marie also spread the news that the aban- 
doned wife, Queen Mother Helen, was now study- 
ing to become a nurse; indeed she was preparing 
herself to enter a nunnery where she wanted to 
live out the rest of her shattered life. The saint. 
Helen the saint. Helen the magnificent. Helen 
the pure. Helen the wonderful. All the adjectives 
were used. Poor Carol. He was blind. He did 
not see his wife's great qualities; his wife's and his 
mother's. He had abandoned his family. He had 
abandoned his country to satisfy his insatiable carnal 
passions. Zizi, Mirel, Magda, and there were others 
yes many. He was already too friendly with 
the actress Elvira Popescu. Elvira Popescu! Another 
exile who had not succeeded in Bucharest but had 
fooled the Frenchmen. 

And the life of poor Elvira became a red page in 
a book of obscenities! 




the story o a great painter who had never painted a 
picture. Mirbeau tells o a young man who had 
shown considerable talent while studying at the 
Academy. His teachers singled him out from the 
other students as the one man who would eventu- 
ally do great things. 

"Watch him closely. Ecce Homo." 

The students clustered about him and turned to 
him with their work to ask his criticism. And what 
the young man said was law. 

"Waste no time on trifles. Do great work or 

But the more the young man was praised the 
more difficult he found it to do his own work. Al- 
most everything he wanted to do was trifling com- 
pared to what he was supposed to be able to do. 

Eventually this mouth to mouth propaganda 
spread all over France. Everybody spoke of this 
great young painter whose work overshadowed that 
of all the painters of the present and the past. And 



no one saw his works. He was called a master of 
the brush long before he had done anything 
masterly. The young man, burdened by the respon- 
sibility that had been loaded upon his shoulders, re- 
tired to his garret, from which he emerged but 
rarely. His comrades, seeing but little of him, spoke 
even more of him. 

"He is painting the great picture, the greatest ever 

Years passed and the man's reputation grew. The 
reputation became the tradition of that particular 
school. The young painter passed from youth to 
middle age. Though not a man had seea any- 
thing of his work, he was continually referred to 
as "the great master." His rare appearances among 
his friends were greeted with tremendous enthu- 
siasm. Painters who had already achieved fame, 
came to him with their work and begged him for 
an opinion. 

Ultimately, Mirbeau tells, a friend penetrated to 
that garret when the painter was ill. On an easel 
was a tremendous canvas all blank. It had been 
on that easel for twenty years. The palette and 
the brushes were dry. They hadn't been touched 
for years. The artist would have painted what there 
was in him to paint, had he not concluded that he 
could never do anything to equal the praise that 
had been bestowed upon him for so many years. 



That no matter what he would have done, it would 
have ruined his reputation forever. He could never 
paint what he was expected to paint. He had per- 
mitted his friends to overpraise him. Only the mas- 
terpiece of masterpieces could have satisfied even 
the least critical, and great masterpieces are not pro- 
duced consciously. The great painter died without 
ever doing anything. 

I don't know why this story comes to my mind 
now, but I do know that it has always come to mind 
whenever I have thought of Mr. Titulescu; the pres- 
ent Roumanian Ambassador to England and the 
latest chairman of the Peace Congress at Geneva. 

Mr. Titulescu's canvas is not totally blank, but 
neither is it what his friends claim that it could be, 

Some twenty odd years ago, Mr. Titulescu 
emerged from a group of trained young diplomats, 
as a most promising statesman. Great hopes were 
settled on him. Members of the party to which he 
belonged saw in him their future leader; the Moses 
who would lead them out of the desert into the 
promised land. The Saviour. 

Unable to down him, because his reputation had 
grown beyond anything he had already done, the 
elder statesmen shook their heads and agreed that 
he was a great man, but: 

"We will have to wait a few years until he ma- 


Curiously enough, the opposition also had great 
respect for young Mr. Titulescu, and wished that 
they had him as the prospective leader of their 
party. They were very considerate when they were 
not in agreement with him. 

In the heat of disputes, politicians called one 
another thief and rascal and accused one another 
of all sorts of crimes and robberies, yet they 
never said anything of that sort about Mr. Titulescu. 
With him they merely disagreed. They could find 
no flaw in his character or in his conduct. At worst 
he was an honest man who held on to mistaken 

Immensely tall, with a head like that of some 
overgrown Chinese giant, Mr. Titulescu was never 
accused of using backstair methods to climb to his 
eminence. He never did have to apply for posts. 
They were showered upon him. He had only to 
choose. He visited these shores some years ago and 
used the authority he did not have to change the 
personnel of the Embassy to suit his own whims. 

Eventually, Mr. Titulescu became the Roumanian 
ambassador to England. There was no better man 
for that post. He was eminently fitted for it. Every- 
body said so. 

Whenever Roumania was in political hot water, 
the political parties directed their eyes to him as 
the man to save them from trouble. The news- 



papers and speeches in Parliament, elevated him 
above every political man in the country, 

"Let us but get Mr. Titulescu and he will know 
how to take us out of this impasse." 

"Titulescu. Let us call Titulescu to power." 

No doubt Mr. Titulescu's ambition for the 
Premiership of Roumania was just as great at the 
beginning of his career, as the ambition of other 
young statesmen, not his equal, and by far his in- 
ferior. But the reputation that was given to him 
was such that unless he really accomplished a 
miracle, he would degrade himself for ever. 

Mr. Titulescu refused to accept the premiership 
whenever the position was offered to him; either 
demanding conditions that could not be fulfilled, 
or by claiming that he was not in good health. 

"Ask me when I am well again." 

He never refused point blank. 

In this manner the Roumanian diplomats, states- 
men and people were led to believe that conditions 
of the country could be changed at once if Mr. 
Titulescu's health would permit him to accept the 
premiership. In every serious crisis this hope was 
dangled in the air; like the bundle of hay in the 
story of the racing donkey. 

"We will appeal to Mr. Titulescu. Now is the 


But while he was the awaited Messiah, he also 


became a threatening danger. Statesmen and diplo- 
mats were frightened every time they approached 

"What if he accepts? What if his abilities really 
are such that he can accomplish miracles? Then 
our situation would become impossible for ever and 


"What if he fails?" others asked. 

Yet there was nothing they could use against him 
nothing they could do except to overpraise him. 
This overpraise has completely nullified the abilities 
of an extremely able person who was and is too 
shrewd not to know that he could never fulfill all 
the hopes that were vested in him. He had to con- 
tinue to refuse the offers made to him. 

"I am not well. I am ill" 

I can conceive of no more devilishly clever move 
than that used by his friends and his enemies. 
Titulescu became a sort of political god to whom 
they prayed and whose help they begged for, but 
hoped he would never come down to earth. Once 
when he almost said yes, they cried that he was 
too big a man. That even the Great Roumania of 
today was too small for him. 

"He would waste himself in so small a country. 
He should have been born in France, in England 
or in the United States. He is a giant, born too 
big for his country. To become the premier of a 



country like Roumania would be a condescension " 
Mr. Titulescu shook his heavy head. This power- 
ful giant had to claim bad health and had to con- 
tinue to refuse the leadership of the government of 
his country. 

"I could not do my best in the physical condition 
in which I am now. Ask me again. There will be 
other opportunities." 

* * * * * 

Prior to Prince Carol's now well-known flight 
from Paris to Bucharest, the Maniu government felt 
that something had to be done; that some radical 
move had to be made to wrench the country out of 
the threatening anarchy. The small foreign loans had 
only enabled them to stave off the ultimate end from 
day to day without ameliorating fundamentally the 
economic situation. They were less than palliatives, 
less than the proverbial drop in the bucket. What 
the Maniu government was chiefly concerned with 
was with saving itself; by quieting the spirits, of the 
people, by hushing up the voice of revolt that was 
becoming louder and louder. They had done the 
"all the people all the time" stuff too vigorously. 

Of course the Prince heir had many friends in the 
Maniu government who argued that if he returned 
to the country everything would immediately 
change for the better. 



Mr. Maniu is an old man, encumbered with a 
legal mind that works slowly and in well-grooved 
paths. He did not readily acquiesce to the demands 
of his friends; first, because Carol's return would be 
illegal King Michael was legally the king of Rou- 
mania, and he had sworn allegiance to him; second 
because of the condition of affairs between Carol 
and his wife, Helen. Of course Helen had legally 
divorced her husband, but Mr. Maniu is a Catholic 
and does not believe in divorce. (And there are peo- 
ple who say that he does not even believe in mar- 
riage. He has never been married.) 

"Carol," he argued, "should be brought back only 
as a last resort when the ruin of the country might 
hang in the balance." 

There was still Mr. Titulescu left. Emissaries 
were sent to him. While these emissaries were on 
their way, the country was agog. There were daily 
bulletins about Mr. Titulescu's coming to Roumania 
to take over the premiership. The emissaries had 
long conferences with him. Mr. Titulescu would 
not let himself be persuaded. They pointed out to 
him that he was the last hope. The more they urged 
him to accept, the less he was inclined to listen to 
them. His enemies in Bucharest were singing his 
praises even louder than his friends were. God him- 
could not have accomplished what they said 
Titulescu could; if he so desired. 



"Mr. Titulescu will be able to do anything he 
pleases. He could be the premier, the dictator, the 
president of the republic there is nothing Mr. 
Titulescu will not be able to do. We rely implicitly 
on his sagacity, on his devotion, on his ability." 

Had Napoleon risen from the dead he would not 
have dared to accept so much responsibility. Mr. 
Titulescu was not asked to try to remedy conditions. 
He was told that he alone could save the country. 

Mr. Titulescu, like Octave Mirbeau's painter, had 
to remain sitting before that tremendous canvas on 
the easel, with his brushes and paint before him, and 
refuse to paint the picture that he was expected to; 
refuse to paint the masterpiece that would please 
his friends and his enemies. If Roumanian diplo- 
mats and statesmen used only half the intelligence 
to rule their country that they use to ruin it and to 
paralyze those who could do something for it, Rou- 
mania would be one of the most prosperous and 
ideal countries of Europe. 

Mr. Titulescu's refusal was not immediately im- 
parted to the public. The emissaries were kept out 
of the country to lull the people a little longer. 

But when his refusal could no longer be hidden, 
the Liberals, who had not banked too much on 
Maniu's Catholicism to keep Carol out of the coun- 
try, saw that they were faced with the inevitable. 
They hid their heads in the sand and refused to see 



what was before them. They knew what the inevi- 
table was. 

Queen Marie made one more attempt to wedge 
herself into the government of the country. She 
made one more attempt to bring Prince Nicholas 
under her heel. That young son of hers was defy- 
ing her openly now. He had joined the Carolists, 
and he was probably one of the few who prayed 
that Mr. Titulescu would refuse. The feverish 
secret activities of the Carolists had become so fever- 
ish, they were remarked by every one. At that 
time no government would have dared to submit 
the army to a test and demand that it reaffirm its 
allegiance to King Michael. 

Queen Helen was one of the most feverish per- 
sons. She was the center of attention. What would 
Carol do if he returned? The Carolists still said 
that he would merely enter the Regency to replace 
his brother and to supervise the interests of his son, 
the King of Roumania. But very few people were 
fooled by their assertions. 

One more attempt was made to convince Mr. 
Titulescu that his place was in Bucharest. This time 
the Queen herself appealed to him, though she did 
not have any particular love for the man whose 
popularity threatened the Hohenzollern house with 



Mr. Titulescu refused. He could not accept. He 
was too ill. 

Helen turned to her political friends, to the clique 
that had formed about her, and demanded counsel 
She was panicky. She was afraid for the life of 
her son even more than for his future. She was 
afraid for her own life. While pretending to quiet 
her, her friends, and her clique, ran under cover. 
They were unwilling to compromise themselves 
more than they were already compromised. They 
saw clearly the writing on the wall. Helen had not 
been any too friendly to Carol and what she had 
said about him had been repeated to him. Her pe- 
tition for a divorce was a diatribe against her hus- 
band in which she recited her griefs, her disappoint- 
ments and the humilation he had submitted her to 
by his faithlessness to her. 

That Carol had asked ber to join him in his exile 
in Paris had asked her to come with the child 
and that she had refused, and preferred to stay at 
the palace instead of being with her repentant hus- 
band, that she did not say in her petition for di- 

She had put herself entirely under the tutelage 
of Queen Marie, who had directed her activities and 
spoken for her. Reports of her despair and sadness 
and of how broken-hearted she was were continually 



fed to newspapers and magazines. She had willingly, 
or unwillingly, done quite as much to make out of 
Carol a ridiculous gay Lothario in the eyes of the 
world as Marie had. She had won the kingship 
for her son, at the price of a husband. And now 
that husband was rising from the dead. 

I must recall here that her recriminations about 
his unfaithfulness were rather idle. She and Carol 
had had a prenuptial agreement that he was to retain 
his "sentimental" freedom even after they were mar- 
ried. Though she knew of Carol's marriage to Zizi 
Lambrino, she permitted that young woman to fre- 
quent the palace after she herself was married to 
the Prince. There had never been any secrecy about 
Carol's relations with Zizi after his marriage to 
Helen. I must recall here again the letter Carol 
wrote to Madame Lambrino, when he told her of 
his engagement to the Princess. 

"She has the same view of life as I have. Our mar- 
riage is but a formal affair." 

It is quite possible that Helen changed her opin- 
ions on marital relations after Carol had left. Carol, 
apparently, had not changed his. That agreement 
could only be made null if both agreed to change 
their opinions on that subject. 

Carol still believes that Helen was a party to the 
plot of his mother when he had been exiled with 
Magda Lupescu. He would have preferred, then, 



to go into exile with his wife. No one could have 
prevented Helen from joining him when he asked 
her to. 

These things were clear enough in the minds of 
Helen's friends. They accused her, now, of having 
been Marie's dupe and of having allowed them to 
dupe her. Sagacity and shrewdness were higher 
qualities than faithfulness. 

"She is a fool." 

Meanwhile things were coming to a head. 

The ambassadors to foreign countries were 
sounded out as to their attitude towards Carol's 
eventual return to the throne. Many of the diplo- 
mats stationed in foreign countries had always been 
in favor of Carol, and those who had not been in 
favor, came to the conclusion that since Titulescu 
had refused; there was nothing else the Maniu gov- 
ernment could do. They bowed to the inevitable. 
Diplomats have words to explain everything. When 
it is not "de jure" it is "de facto." 

The army was sounded out. Armies are always in 
favor of a dictator. Carol was supposed to be a Fas- 
cist. The Fascist movement in Roumania has many 
adherents. The officers of the army had felt rather 
ridiculous to serve under a nine year old boy, flanked 
by two tottering old men and a young man in whom 
they never had much confidence. The army was 
afraid of Titulescu. Who knows, but that Titulescu's 



refusal was based on his lack of confidence in the 
army ? Titulescu was supposed to be somewhat of 
a republican. It was whispered about that if Titu- 
lescu became the premier the army would be dis- 

"He will make friends with Russia." 

The Carolist party insinuated : 

"He has been away from our country too long to 
know its sentiments; its royalist sentiments." 

Marie was rapidly putting her house and her af- 
fairs in order. She tried one more diversion. Did 
I say one more ? She tried twenty at the same time. 
She left nothing untried of her bag of tricks. She 
even revived the scandal between her daughter and 
the German prince to create a diversion. She would 
have imitated Lady Godiva if that would have 

Prince Shtirbey was not idling. He screwed down 
tight the financial vise. He hammered at every 
wheel of industry to break the cogs that made it run. 
They tried to frighten Carol as they had frightened 
Titulescu. They tried to convey to him the impres- 
sion that the conditions in Roumania were such that 
it was humanly impossible for any man to come and 
remedy them as quickly as the people expected them 
to be remedied. They even told him his life was 
in danger if he stepped on the soil of his country. 

Only one who has lived in a country while it is 


going through such crises and has breathed the foul 
air of intrigue and machination can have a faint 
idea of what went on then. The panic of land 
people on a ship during a storm at sea is only a 
mild disturbance compared to the panic of the Rou- 
manians during those days, those weeks and months 
of doubt, when they did not know whether they 
were doomed to ruin, bankruptcy, revolution or 

One never can quite fathom the secret actions 
and reactions of groups of men who, though acting 
in the name of a people they claim to govern, act 
only in their own interests . . . without much regard 
for their neighbors or consequences. 




RANGE'S great tradition of 
hospitality to political exiles was not the only reason 
she refused to expel from its borders Carol of Hohen- 

Despite the woven intrigues of Roumania's poli- 
ticians and diplomats, France is undoubtedly the 
best informed country about what is really going 
on in the land of the Walachs. She is occasionally 
better informed than the Roumanian statesmen 
themselves about the feeling of the people, and sel- 
dom makes a bad guess as to which way the wind 
is blowing. 

Roumania is on the border line of Russia. The 
French government has always felt and still feels 
that there is danger of a possible alliance be- 
tween Bolshevik Russia and Republican Ger- 
many. France has to keep Roumania on her 
side so that in an emergency Roumania's armies 
may be able to attract some of the Muscovite 
armies and hold them at bay until France makes 
ready to defend herself. Indirectly, therefore, 



Roumania is one of France's frontier countries. 
French generals, as well as French statesmen, 
always keep an open eye, and the good one 
at that, on the Roumanian armies and on its ar- 
senals. Now, when the interests of Roumania are 
severed from those of Germany, it is France that is 
supplying arms and ammunition, cannon, powder 
and aeroplanes to Roumania. The railroad lines of 
strategic importance are always kept in better con- 
dition than the other lines. General Franchet 
d'Esperey is a frequent visitor to Roumania where 
he never fails to make friendly inspection of the ar- 
tilleries, infantry and aviation corps. 

Roumania is supposed, in an emergency, to be able 
to put close to a million men on foot. No matter 
what expense the French government might incur, 
no matter what the amount of loans she may be 
forced to subscribe to and underwrite,, it is still con- 
siderably cheaper than to keep an additional army 
of a million men in her own country. Roumanian 
mothers never know that they are giving birth to 
French soldiers when sons are born to them. Yet 
such is the case, nevertheless. 

While Carol was in France, the French govern- 
ment kept itself well informed as to the possibilities 
of his return and ascension to the throne. And when 
the French foreign office realized that it was im- 
possible for the opposition to keep him away much 



longer from the place which belonged to him, 
France began to look with favorable eyes to Carol's 
eventual assumption of power. It would have been 
an irreparable blunder to antagonize the future King 
of a country whose soldiers were so vital to France's 

It was well known that Carol had Fascist leanings 
and that his friends were all inclined in that direc- 
tion. France did not forget that while General 
Averescu was Premier of Roumania, that country 
had entered into a pact with Italy and that the 
Walachians were, as a consequence, tremendously 
enthusiastic about Mussolinism. 

It was also known that Carol was rather friendly 
toward the Hungarians. At one time, when he had 
quarrelled with his family, he had intrigued himself 
almost to the throne of the Magyars, and would 
have become the King of Hungary if Diamandi and 
some of his other associates had not betrayed him to 
Queen Marie. 

Carol had remained on friendly terms with the 
Hungarians and it was known that he planned to 
cooperate more closely with his former enemies, as 
soon as he got the power into his hands. 

France knew what such alliances meant against 
her. A new alignment of Italy, Austria, Hungary 
and Roumania would put her at the mercy of Ger- 
many; put her in a position where she could no 



longer oppose Germany's cry that the Versailles 
Treaty must be revised. 

The combined population of these four countries 
is greater than the population of Germany, and 
would have therefore doubled the "over the Rhine" 

Time is the greatest asset in the game played by 
statesmen and diplomats. It is possible that such a 
political alignment will become a fact in the near 
future. But so many things are subject to change, 
if given time, that it was to France's interest to post- 
pone or retard such a union of the four powers that 
would undoubtedly have acted against her. 

Behind the mask of a gay Lothario hides a 
shrewd and calculating statesman. France's refusal 
to agree to the demands of Queen Marie that her 
son be exiled was more than a compliment to Carol 
it was an encouragement* Words could not have 
been more clearly spoken. It was as if France had 

"We believe that you will soon be on the throne 
of Roumania. We will do nothing to stop you from 
achieving your aim. We shall be glad to know you 
the King of your country and our ally. 5 * 

That he remained in France, and even bought 
himself a chateau there, was a tacit acquiescence to 
France's attitude- 

If we hear less of Roumanian Fascism than we 


would have heard had Carol returned to Bucharest 
six months or a year sooner, it is because the new 
King has a sense of loyalty. He would not easily, 
or without deep reason, ally himself with the ene- 
mies of a people who have given him hospitality 
and treated him as magnanimously as the French 
had treated him during his stay there. 

The Roumanian armies will therefore continue 
to be what they have been in the past; the advance 
posts of France. Unless something unforeseen hap- 
pens. What, for instance ? France's refusal to lend 
Roumania more money or to extend more credits 
or to guarantee loans? The Roumanian-Italian 
alliance is still in vigor. 

To those to whom the following story might 
sound too much like an excerpt from the scenario 
of a musical comedy, I want to say that the facts 
were given to me by a Minister of State and two 
high functionaries of the Court of King Carol, and 
that this information was imparted to me in the 
presence of several American business men. I am 
amazed that it has remained a secret so long. . . . 

During my last stay in Bucharest and in Paris, 
I verified the story. It checked in every detail, 



though there were several variations and changes 
in the names of the heroes of the comedy. 

Had the Belascos, the von Stroheims and the Shu- 
berts joined heads to find unexploited musical 
comedy situations, they could not have invented a 
more hilarious trick ending to a dramatic situation. 
The Viennese and Parisian comedy makers are com- 
pletely outclassed* Not even in the Ruritania mov- 
ing pictures has anything ever been seen to approach 
the ridiculousness of the last scene. 

When one of the older regents had died and 
Queen Marie had insisted again and again that she 
too ought to be included in the Regency, she was 
told that a Latin people would never submit to being 
ruled by a woman; it was possible in England and 
in Holland, but not in Roumania. The Latins have 
always considered women incapable of holding such 

Marie filmed and stormed. She was insulted. She 
demanded that an exception be made in her case 
and recalled the celebrated phrase of a statesman 
that "there was only one man in Roumania, and 
that was Queen Marie." 

But Maniu shook his head slowly and deliberately 
and did not budge. When she protested and told 
him that Roumania's aggrandizement was chiefly 
due to her, Maniu told her that the reason they 



could not include her in the Regency was that the 
people would revolt; that they would never sub- 
mit to being ruled by the "Grey Eminence," Prince 

That ended the discussion. Marie had the last 
word by saying that one does not bargain with the 
throne. One either gives what the throne demands 
or is in a state of revolt. 

Nicholas, who had been so malleable, who had 
been like wax in the hands of that wilful mother of 
his, sided now with her enemies, was in correspond- 
ence with his brother, and the friend of the leader of 
her inveterate enemies. Nicholas too began to re- 
proach her with her conduct, using almost the same 
words his brother had once used. There were some 
nice family discussions between Mama, her son and 
her daughters. 

It is an open secret that Nicholas met the conspira- 
tors in the home of one of his women friends, a 
married woman not exactly of noble blood, but of 
noble bearing. The house of Hohenzollern in Rou- 
mania seems to have been cursed. Every male mem- 
ber, beginning with Prince Ferdinand, had fallen in 
love with a Roumanian woman before marrying one 
of princely blood. 

The publicity campaign launched by Queen Marie 
against Nicholas was not expected to accomplish 
anything; it was just an act of revenge. He was por- 



trayed as a drunkard, a degenerate, a reckless driver, 
a hooligan and a street brawler. Every daily paper, 
outside of the border of Roumania, carried a daily 
item about Nicholas' doings. He was made to ap- 
pear as a combination of Al Capone and Jesse 

True, he was no angel, Nicholas, Yet not one- 
tenth of what was said against him was true. Not 
a word about his escapades had been heard before 
the lid of the scandals was ripped open. 

Nicholas's reply to that campaign was an even 
more intensive correspondence with his brother, and 
an even greater activity with the conspirators who 
worked to bring Carol back to the throne. 

For some reason or other Carol did not tKmV it 
was the appropriate moment to descend upon Bu- 
charest. His friends had to argue and bring pres- 
sure. Carol just happened to have found a fresh 
interest in Paris. The theater now interested him 
even more than sports; especially so because a beau- 
tiful Roumanian actress, Elvira Popescu, had at- 
tracted his attention. Both Elvira and Carol pro- 
tested loudly against the insinuation that there was 
anything more between them than friendship and 
devotion to the theater. But his friends and many 
others knew better. Elvira's husband, the actor 
manager and playwright, left for Berlin. Carol was 
a frequent visitor to her dressing room. 



Carol did not appreciate the Carolists' insistence 
when they urged him to settle upon his shoulders 
the responsibilities of ruling a country on the verge 
of bankruptcy. He knew the conditions in Rou- 
mania and knew how it had been, and was being 
looted. He had nothing to gain by going back 
home. The throne, which would have held the 
fascination of great glory if his mother had not be- 
smirched the tinsel and ermine, was but a drab ex- 
change for what he already had. He knew that he 
was better off as a commoner in Paris than he would 
be as a King in Bucharest. However, there were his 
mother and his enemies. It was difficult to let go 
by an occasion to pay off all the humiliations they 
had submitted him to and all the pain they had 
inflicted upon him. To rule those who had perse- 
cuted him was a great temptation. 

He had many scores to settle, with men and with 
women. People who had betrayed him, who had 
robbed him, who had mocked him, who had in- 
trigued against him and who had enmeshed him in 
a dozen unsavory affairs felt a little too secure under 
the Shtirbey-Marie wings. He was embittered 
against Helen, his wife, who had allied herself with 
his mother, and had treated him shabbily and had 
heaped ridicule and blame upon him. 

Of course there was that little son of his; legally 
the King of Roumania. Carol must have thought 



of the atmosphere in which the child would be 
brought up! He must have remembered how 
Milan, the former King of Serbia, had been treated 
by his family, when his son had been put in his 
stead on the throne. Milan Obrenovitch died in 
exile; one of the most ridiculous ex-Majesties in the 

Nicholas's letters and emissaries, as well as his 
Carolist friends, continued their pressure upon the 
Prince heir. 

"Titulescu has refused. Now is your chance." 

"You are the only hope." 

"If you come now you will be hailed as the 
saviour of the country." 

"You can do anything you please without any op- 

"All your enemies will run for cover." 

There were daily meetings and conferences in 
Carol's villa, and there were other meetings and 
conferences at a well-known Parisian hotel. 

Carol asked Elvira Popescu to return to Bucharest, 
to the National Theatre. Elvira had herself photo- 
graphed with the future King and promised. She 
too had some scores to settle in Roumania. She 
had been howled down from the stage once but 
that is another story. 

I have been told that Magda Lupescu was inform- 
ing the Queen, and her representative in Paris, Am- 



bassador Diamandi, of everything Carol said and 
did at that time, and was giving the names of all the 
visitors that came to his home. Magda Lupescu was 
angry. Carol was neglecting her for another woman. 
In addition to Magda there were other women who 
spied on him women who were paid to play with 
Carol in order to gain his confidence. One of these 
ladies has since given an interview to the press in 
which she told half truths of what had happened. 
She did not deny that she had been in the pay of 
Queen Marie, she gloried in her servitude. Some 
day we shall hear of as many pretenders to the Rou- 
manian throne as we have heard from the Bourbon 
family of the right and the wrong side of the 

One day a young Roumanian officer in civilian 
clothes came to see the exiled prince at his home at 
Neuilly, near the gates of Paris. They had been 
playmates, he and Carol. Carol had absolute con- 
fidence in him. This young officer gave Carol a 
complete and detailed report of the conditions in 
the country and the feeling of the army. What the 
others had been unable to do; what Carol's brother 
had not been able to accomplish at that time, this 
man accomplished. He convinced his prince that 
he would be received with open arms when he re- 
turned, and assured him that the people would 
gladly listen to his explanation of the forgery affair. 



More, no such explanation would be necessary. The 
people no longer believed that their prince was a 
forger and a grafter. 

It was agreed that the young officer should return 
to Roumania and make the necessary arrangements. 
When all would be ready he was to flash a message 
to Carol. The young officer, an extremely ingenious 
young man, and an active one, went to work im- 

A few days later Prince Nicholas wired to his 

"Now is the time." 

That wire was sent from a city beyond the Rou- 
manian border. Any telegraph operator in Rou- 
mania would have relayed it first to his chief of 
police. It must be noted here that the chiefs of police 
are the most powerful adjuncts of the government. 
They rule. 

Queen Marie, who was informed of what was 
being done behind her back, took the train and 
went to Oberammergau to see the Passion Play. 
She did not want to be in Roumania when Carol 

Close upon that telegram there appeared at King 
Carol's villa the same young officer, Carol's friend. 
He took the former heir to the throne aside and told 

"I have arranged everything to the minutest de- 


tail. I can put you back on the throne if you agree 
to obey me implicitly for a time. You must obey 
without questioning. At the end of that period I 
shall obey you for the rest of my life. Are you 

Carol agreed. This friend inspired confidence. 
He was a doer, not a talker, 

Before Madame Lupescu had come down from 
one of the rooms in the upper story of the house to 
look at the visitor, the royal lover had stepped into 
the highpowered automobile that was waiting out- 
side. He waved goodbye to her. 

"You will understand later." 

The engine snorted. The wheels turned. 


The Lupescu wept. She stormed. She became 
hysterical. Then she went to the telephone. 

"Hello. Hello. Hello." 

Two hours later the whole world knew that 
Prince Carol had flown back to Roumania. France 
had been made the jumping oft ground for the 
coup d'etat that endangered the security of a 
friendly nation. 

Queen Marie was at Oberammergau watching the 
Passion Play. 

Had the Bratianus still been in power the streets 
of Bucharest would have been bristling with ma- 
chine guns again. They would have known how 



to prevent Carol's return. With them it was a ques- 
tion of life and death. But Premier Maniu was in 
power and his government was tottering, Carol 
had to be brought back or the Liberals would 
have swept into power. Mironescu, an old friend 
of Carol's, was Secretary of State. The Carolists 
were in the saddle. Titulescu had refused to ac- 
cept the premiership. Maniu had become a figure- 

Things had been well engineered. The Parlia- 
ment was in an uproar when the news of Carol's 
return reached Bucharest. They knew what was 
happening but refused to believe. The army could 
not be relied upon. The army had been switched 
to Carol's party. The army hoped Carol would 
proclaim himself the dictator, that he would organ- 
ize a military government. That same Parliament 
had decreed two years before that Carol's name was 
not to be mentioned; that henceforth he was a 
closed question." 

At the beginning of this interdiction the news- 
papers that had favored Carol's return tried to cir- 
cumvent the order by saying "The 'closed question* 
has been seen in Paris/' or "the "closed question' is 
still wintering in Nice." Then even that was for- 
bidden. When the news of Carol's flight from Paris 
was broadcast in Roumania, the censors forbade its 
publication after one of the newspapers had ap- 



peared with the announcement that the "closed 
question" was observed flying eastward from Le 
Bourget, the aviation field near Paris. 

The plane bearing Prince Carol was compelled 
to make a forced landing not far from its destina- 

The Chief of Police of that town, bewildered by 
what had happened, telephoned to the Minister of 
Justice at Bucharest: 

"Hello, hello. With the band of the Eleventh 
Regiment of Infantry ahead of him and the rest of 
the regiment behind, the 'closed question' is march- 
ing towards Bucharest. What shall I do?" 

Well! What could be done! 

"Do nothing." 

The Minister of Justice knew all about it. He 
hung up. He disconnected his telephone receiver. 
He wouldn't be bothered. 

The news could be suppressed no longer. Those 
who felt themselves guilty began to pack rapidly 
their belongings, stuffing bags and trunks and call- 
ing to their chauffeurs to get the cars ready. 

Those who had drawn in their horns let them 

"Our King is coming. Carol is on his way. Wait 
and see." 



The rumor spread that Carol, who had been con- 
verted to Fascist methods, intended to have the 
guilty ones shot first and then tried. No city in 
Europe can become so hysterical as Bucharest. 
What was rumor was soon believed to be a certainty. 
They already heard the shots. When a tire burst in 
front of Prince Shtirbey's house, the inhabitants 
fainted. Doors and windows were shut tight. 
Houses and shops emptied themselves rapidly and 
people massed themselves in the streets to acclaim 
the return of the prodigal. They wanted it to be 
seen that they applauded. They fought like mad 
men to be in the first rows of the crowd. They 
wanted him to see them. The stupendous reception. 
Carol got was as spontaneous as was the reception 
of Lindbergh when he came flying down on Le 
Bourget. I was at the French flying field on that 
memorable occasion and I know what it was. 

Long before the band was heard playing the na- 
tional anthem the enthusiastic populace of Bucha- 
rest was wild with joy. Peasants from surrounding 
villages filled the streets. The army was out in 
parade uniform. They were glad Carol was return- 
ing and were happy to know that those whom they 
hated and who had oppressed them for so long 
would be brought to justice; whatever justice he, 
Carol, would choose. Had Carol's enemies shown 
any opposition, rivers of blood would have covered 



the streets. Had Queen Marie been there and op- 
posed her son, they would have torn her to pieces. 
But Marie was safely away; weathering the 
storm in absence. She was not to be caught nap- 

The army, which had sworn allegiance to King 
Michael and the Regency, forgot its oath and 
was now behind Carol. They acclaimed him King, 
though they still had a King. 

When the carriage bearing Carol appeared, the 
Bucharesters went wild. They would have mobbed 
him in their eagerness to approach him had not the 
soldiers defended him with their bayonets. Smil- 
ing broadly, the prodigal stood up in the slow-mov- 
ing carriage, bowed right and left, raised his hat 
and saluted. He looked exuberant. He was happy. 
And everybody was happy. They had waited for 
him. He would clean house soon. He would sell 
their wheat. He would instil hope in the indus- 
trialists who had closed their factories. He 'was a 
King, a real King. 

The gates of the palace were wide open. Prince 
Nicholas received him. Their meeting was touch- 
ing. They embraced and kissed again and again. 
The same lackeys and chamberlains who had turned 
their backs on Prince Carol a few years before, now 
welcomed him, bowing to the ground and moaning, 
"Your Majesty, Your Majesty." Outside the popu- 



lace continued to acclaim the returned King. They 
wanted to see the two brothers kiss again. They 
would not leave the palace grounds. The streets 
were black with people. The brass bands, of all 
the regiments,, played continuously. 

"Long live the King. Long live our King." 

Half an hour after he had arrived, the King ap- 
peared again on the balcony to bow to the applause 
of the populace. And he had to return again and 

"Nicholas. Prince Nicholas. We want to see our 
Prince Nicholas." 

The brothers appeared on the balcony and em- 

The people were hungry for the sight of their 
King. They wanted to see whether he had aged 
much while he had been away. Some said that he 
had grown paler. Others, that his mustache had 
become thicker. 

Grizzled peasants said that he looked more like 
a man than he ever had. He had gone forth a 
young fellow and had come back a man. 

"Oh, we are lucky to have such a one as he for 

"His affairs of the heart ? It is nobody's business." 

They had once had a, King who had boasted of 
thirty-two wives. But he had been a mighty King: 
Stephan the Great. 



They felt that everything would change over- 
night. He would sell their wheat. Yes. He would 
do that. He would compel the Jews to buy their 

And now the statesmen began to arrive at the 

Prince Nicholas shooed them away. 

"King Carol would not see any one until the fol- 
lowing day." 

He had work to do. Tomorrow. He would then 
convene parliament and have a message from the 
throne ready. Parliament should prepare to make 
his return and assumption of sceptre and throne 
legal. His Majesty ordered that they hold them- 
selves in readiness to do so. 

The King's orders. Finally they had a King who 
ordered. They were glad. The statesmen were 
satisfied. Carol shouldered responsibilities. He al- 
ways had. 

The populace would not be driven away. They 
wanted another look at their King. 

Time and again his Majesty had to appear on the 
balcony and bow and smile and bow again. 

"Long live King Carol." 

"Long live the King." 

"Long live our King." 



Late that night, two men appeared at a back door 
of the palace. One of them was in military uni- 
form, and the other had his cap over his eyes and 
the collar of his trench coat well over his ears. The 
man who watched that secret entrance and its pas- 
sageway looked at them. Only the people of the 
royal household could pass that door. At a word 
from the officer in uniform the watchman opened 
the door and stepped aside. 

A moment later the two men entered the room 
where Prince Nicholas sat at a table with his 

And then one of the gentlemen who had just en- 
tered took off his cap and lowered the collar of his 

It was the real Carol. 

The one who had come on the first plane, and 
had bowed to the ovations of the people, was a 
French actor disguised to look like Carol. The 
King's friends had refused to permit him to risk his 
head. Had the affair been a fiasco, or had some 
fanatic sent a bullet crashing into the breast of the 
prodigal, it would have been classed as an unfor- 
tunate hoax on the part of Carol's partisans. 

Carol had promised to obey implicitly the young 
officer who had taken charge of his return. 

And now the King turned to the young officer: 

"Have I fulfilled my agreement?" 


The young officer clicked his heels together, 
saluted, and said: 

"I am at your orders from now on, Your Majesty." 

The first order His Majesty issued was to tell his 

"Tell this man to take off his mustache before he 
leaves this room." 

And while the actor was being hustled out 
through another back door and sent on his way to 
Paris, the real Carol appeared on the balcony to 
bow to the ovations. 

Evidently, he did not bow as well as the actor 
had. Bystanders remarked that he was tired. 

"Now let's go home and let the King sleep." 

"He needs a rest." 

"He has come flying from Paris." 

"He is tired. There is heavy work ahead of him." 

"He has to sell our wheat. He has to force the 
Jews to buy our wheat." 

And now, Belascos, von Stroheims and Shuberts, 
could you have thought out this trick ending? Why 
not send scouts to hire the man who had evolved 
the plan? He has the imagination needed to create 
marvelous pictures, and to suggest the text of a 
hilarious comic opera or musical comedy. 

A dozen officers now claim the honor of having 
done what one had done. One day I was told it 
was one man, and the following day that it was 



another. On a morning a young lieutenant ap- 
peared at my hotel to assure me that it was he and 
no one else. I don't know he may have been an 
impostor, and it may have been the real man. 

Now that the real King was home and the loud 
hoorays had died down and the crowd had been 
dissipated, the work began. Laborers in overalls in- 
vaded the dowager queen Marie's apartments and 
began to tear down the wires of half a dozen private 
telephones which were stretched between the royal 
palace and the home and the offices of Prince 

There were telephone receivers in the most un- 
imaginable places in the Queen's boudoir. She had 
acted out the plots and counter plots of the penny 
dreadfuls which had been her literary fare, and 
which she had always wanted to write. She had 
played out the mysteries of her own melodramatic 
plots. There was a telephone receiver under the 
wash bowl. Another under the bathtub. 

The workmen had to break open the walls to get 
at the secret telephone wires. 

The ladies in waiting to the Queen, who were 
somewhere else when the prodigal Kong entered the 
palace, burst into her Majesty's apartment and in 
their high pitched voices demanded to know how 
these overalled men dared to invade the sanctum 
sanctorum of Her Divine Holiness. 



While pulling out one of the wires, a workman 
turned and said: 

"We have orders from our Majesty." 

"Majesty?" questioned the women. "Has her 
Majesty Queen Marie ordered you to destroy the 
panels of her boudoirs?" 

"No, His Majesty King Carol has ordered it." 

The women fled in consternation. 

Would he shoot them, hang them or burn them 
alive? They dragged themselves on their knees to 
his rooms. 

"We have always loved you. We have obeyed our 
Queen, but we have always loved you." 

The following day King Carol, flanked by his 
brother, Prince Nicholas, appeared before parlia- 
ment. He ordered the legislature to dismiss the 
regency. He ordered the deputies and senators to 
abrogate the law which had made his son Michael, 
King of Roumania. He ordered them to vacate 
his own letters of renunciation and abdication. Then 
he declared himself King. Parliament acclaimed. 

The few voices that arose in protest, those of 
former Prime Minister Vintila Bratianu and some 
of his followers, were quickly hushed. 

Carol of Hohenzollern was no longer the "closed 
question." He was King of Roumania. 

In the message of the throne Carol told them that 
he had come home to rule the country to the best 
of his ability; to rule it without any desire for ven- 



geance for past wrongs or any enmity for things 
said or done against him. 

Yet even while His Majesty spoke. Prince Shtirbey 
packed hastily. 

The Roumanian minister to Paris, Mr. Diamandi, 
was told to pack and go. 

The Queen Mother applauded the Passion Play 
at Oberammergau while waiting tremulously for 
her son's orders. 

People, who had seen the disguised actor's arrival, 
looked at their Kong in Parliament and wondered 
that he had changed so overnight. He did indeed 
look thinner and more worn out than he had on 
the previous day. 

This difference in appearances gave Carol the 
reputation of being a hard worker. A new reputa- 
tion is like a new broom. It sweeps well. 

People said: 

"He works fifteen and twenty hours a day; just 
as he played fifteen and twenty hours a day." 

"He has tremendous vitality. No wonder women 
love him!" 

As if by miracle, there were no more stories about 
Nicholas running over people with his high-pow- 
ered car, and no more stories about his slapping old 
professors and maltreating women and children. 

But they haven't given up the ship. Queen Marie 
and her clique they are hard at work. 



JL HAVE just come back from 
Roumania, my country of birth. While there I have 
listened to princes and peasants, to merchants and 
workingmen, to diplomatists, military men and 
financiers. They spoke of war and revolution with 
that unmistakable accent born of more than mere 

I have seen people starving in the cities while the 
granaries groaned with wheat and corn* 

I have looked into the pitiful eyes of the villagers 
and peasants who dread the coming of winter. The 
looms are gone. They were destroyed during and 
after the war. No one knows how to twist the 
spindle any more, to roll yarn, to make cloth. The 
factories in towns have replaced the old home in- 
dustries and the people are half naked. The peas- 
ants will herd into their mud brick homes and 
huddle together against the cold after they have 
used the grain for fuel But what about the people 
in villages and towns ? What about the million un- 
paid government employes and the hungry army? 

What care these starvelings whether the King has 


made up with the Queen or not? The peasants are 
not concerned with their King's amorous escapades! 
All they know is that they have labored as few 
people have ever labored, that they have produced 
huge crops which lie unsold, unwanted, like so 
many grains of sand of the sea shore. 

They have been told for two years that their con- 
dition was bad because the thieving Bratianu gov- 
ernment had been too long in power. They were 
told that things would change for the better under 
the new government. They believed and agreed to 
support "The Peasant Party" which had the same 
right to call itself by that name as had the Bratiamis 
to call themselves "The Liberal Party." 

Under the new government the price of wheat 
plunged lower down but the taxes grew heavier. 
The land that had been given to the peasants ten 
years ago was being bought back by the "Indian 
givers," the boyars and politicians. 

A few months ago these same peasants were told 
to rejoice over King Carol's return; told that they 
were in a bitter plight because they had no King to 
speak of; that a large country like theirs could not 
be ruled by a little boy and a regency composed of 
one young inebriate and two old slow owls. The 
peasants believed again. Dumb, credulous, slow- 
moving, it was easier for them, more hopeful, to 
believe than not to believe. 



Now the winter has already come down on their 
land. The pines in the mountains are covered with 
snow to the topmost branches, and the frost has 
gripped the valleys. Wolves roam the fields and 
the outskirts of villages. The wheat, the rye and the 
corn are still unsold. The people will starve because 
there is too much wheat in the land and not be- 
cause there is too little. What a curious commentary 
on the administration of a country! What else will 
the politicians tell the peasant now? Could they 
make him forget that he is cold and naked and 
hungry and hopeless by making him fret as to 
whether Carol should go to the coronation with his 
Queen or his latest paramour, whoever she be? 

An empty stomach has no ears. The "Peasant 
Party" and the other parties, will try to divert the 
minds of the people from the real problems. The 
government and its henchmen will encourage, or 
close an eye to pogroms against the Jews and other 
minority groups. They will have to do something 
to divert the minds from the real issue. 

A few affairs of the kind happened while I 
was in Roumania. The Jewish homes of the town 
of Borsha were robbed and burned to the ground. 
But the peasants got very little out of that. The 
Jews were as poor as the peasants, if not poorer. 
The only result I could see of that outbreak was 
the homelessness of some two hundred families 



which the government declared itself unable to 
shelter, to feed or to protect. 

"Take care of your own destitutes," the govern- 
ment replied to Jewish representatives who protested 
against the barbarous behavior of the hoodlums. 

There will be other diversions, one more barbar- 
ous than the other, and the last one may be a war 
with real and fancied enemies. 

Russia has already served notice of her intended 
invasion of Bessarabia. France will have to come 
to Roumania's assistance if such a thing happens, 
or Roumania will ally itself with France's enemies 
Italy, Austria, Hungary and perhaps Germany. 
Those at the head of the Roumanian government 
cannot be expected to do their utmost to avoid such 
a war if they can hope to stave off their fall thereby. 
As long as they hold on to power in war or peace 
the wealth of the politicians increases miraculously 
fast, while the people groan, famish or die. 

The Liberal Party and the Peasant Party have left 
the coffers of the treasury empty; yet the officials 
of these parties were not empty-handed when they 
dropped the reins of government. 

Roumania has been governed by two alternating 
sets of thieves. No secretary of finance has ever 
been able to give a clean account of all the money 
that has passed through his hands. No new secre- 
tary of finance has ever made any strenuous effort 



to demand such an accounting and for good 

What then? What will happen to Roumania in 
the near future ? 

In this hard-headed industrial civilization, the 
captaincy of a country belongs to the one best fitted 
for his office. No one inherits the right to the helm 
of a ship. Even ownership does not entitle to cap- 
taincy . . . because there are other ships on the sea. 

"There is no greater immorality than to occupy a 
place you cannot fill," Napoleon wrote to his brother 
Joseph, King of Spain. 

Inheritance of the right to rule is no longer be- 
lieved to be divine; unless one inherits the qualities 
necessary to make a ruler. 

The presidency of a bank is not hereditary, nor is 
the generalship of an army. 

What Roumania needs is an administrator, an or- 
ganizer of the highest order, to save it from ruin 
and anarchy. That poor country needs a man in- 
telligent enough to keep under the ashes the spark 
that might set the world on fire again. Is King 
Carol such a man? 

Those slow-moving, slow-witted peasants of my 
Roumania! When they gather like sheep around 
a flute player on the village green their deep blue 
eyes look out into the world like those of children. 
But I have seen them become wolves. 



In 1907 the government instigated the time-tried 
diversion of setting the hungry pack of peasants on 
the Jews. But the people did not stop there. After 
burning a few Jewish homes they lighted their 
torches in the cinders and began burning and de- 
stroying the palaces, granaries, fields and stables of 
the boyars. Armed with scythe, sickle, knives and 
hay forks, they marched from village to village 




"Your granaries are full. Our bins are empty." 

The women, barefooted, with the breast children 
slung from their brown necks, marched beside the 
men and bore the lit torches. 



Old King Carol von Hohenzollern was then on 
the throne. The cry of the peasants struck home. 
He had come to Roumania a poor, penniless beggar 
and had amassed, by shrewd land speculation and 
unclean business methods, a fortune equal to that 
of the wealthiest men of Europe. His own gran- 
aries were indeed full, though he had exported thou- 
sands of carloads of wheat and corn to Germany 
and Italy. 

He was a strong and stubborn man, old Carol. He 


did not have enough administrative intelligence to 
both feed his subjects and enrich himself. But he 
had the divine right to kill his subjects when they 
asked him to give them food. Killing them was 
easier; more in keeping with the military education 
of a Prussian officer become King of a people he 
disliked. It also disposed of the matter more defi- 
nitively. Dead men don't cry for food any more. 
King Carol the first had just bought several cannons 
from the Krupp arsenals. The opposition party had 
dared to cast doubts about their efficiency. The 
politicians had favored and clamored for French 
cannon. The Schneiders and the Krupps fought 
with fistfuls of gold for the privilege of selling their 
engines to Roumania. Most of the politicians took 
bribes from both sides. Carol had held out for the 
Krupp product. He was an honest man. He was 
financially interested in the German killing machine 
factory. The peasant rebellion was an opportunity 
to try out the German firing pieces and prove their 
worth. Within a few hours, the bodies of seventeen 
thousand people were blown into the air and the 
villages of the rebels were a mass of dust and bits 
of iron and wood. 

Carol proved the quality of the Krupp output, 
quelled the rebellion, saved his granary, the gran- 
aries of the boyars, and established himself forever 
in the hearts of his people. From then on he was 



known as "Carol eel Mare/' Carol the Great. He 
had saved the country. 

He hated the Roumanians, except those who had 
studied in Germany and could speak his language. 
To his dying day he never uttered a word of Rou- 
manian outside the unintelligible message of the 
throne which he read yearly in Parliament. 

Things have changed somewhat since. The official 
language of the court is now English, and sometimes 
French, but the same disregard for the natives still 
rules. The language of the country is never spoken 
in official circles. King Carol, the second, though 
born in Roumania, speaks its language haltingly, 
like a foreigner, and the former prime minister, 
Maniu, spoke it as if just learned from a book. 

While I was in Roumania recently, there gathered 
about me one day the flower of Roumanian aris- 
tocracy and statesmanship. Only one of them, 
Prince Bibesco, could speak his native tongue. The 
others spoke French and English. I insisted on 
talking Roumanian to them. They answered in 
French. There were five princes, scions of former 
ruling families and not more than one could speak 
his native tongue properly. 

Even George Bratianu, the son of Jonel, who was 
then slated to become the leader of the Liberal 
Party, preferred to talk English and spoke French 
more fluently than Roumanian. 



"Good God!" I cried out. "Suppose you suddenly 
had to talk from your balconies to the people below. 
A revolution is not an impossibility. What 
language would you talk to them?" Back of the 
unrest and financial ruin of the country lies the fact 
that Roumania has been ruled by princes and kings 
who considered the people as sheep. They hated 
the language of the people as the shearers hate the 
bleating of the sheep between their knees. Rou- 
mania and its tremendous resources are the excuse 
for loans, alliances, graft and murders. 

How much longer can this go on ? 

Hungary awaits "der Tag" to take back its lost 

Russia raises her paw menacingly over Bessarabia. 

And though one of dowager Queen Marie's 
daughters is Queen of Jugo-Slavia, her husband's 
subjects are also on the lookout for a chance to 
broaden their territories. It is yet to be seen on whose 
side the Jugo-Slavs would fight. 

And while all this goes on the press of the world 
is fed with stories of Carol's "sentimental wander- 
ings" and nursed with photographs of Queen 
Marie in national costume, with snapshots of King 
Carol in flannels and with paintings of little Michael 
in his first long trousers. 

But it has been overdone; as overdone as the long 
drawn out sentimental clinches in the movies. 



Readers snicker at the sight o these photographs; 
as they snicker at the sickly sentimental stuff on 
the screen. 

When the Hohenzollern throne crumbles and 
falls into desuetude Queen Marie of Roumania shall 
be entitled to the glory of having hastened the 

People like myself owe her majesty a debt of grati- 
tude. By her scandalous behavior, by her stories in 
the American press when she visited these shores, 
by her blatant cheapness, by her endorsement of 
toilet articles and by greengrocer mercantilism, she 
has divested the throne of the last vestiges of dignity. 
Unwittingly she was, and is, the most efficient Re- 
publican propagandist. Her ridiculous play acting 
could laugh the thrones of the world out of exist- 
ence. Revolutions cannot do what she has done so 

Unless one believes her to be a Republican at 
heart, one who has set out deliberately to destroy 
the monarchic form of government of her own 
country, it is unimaginable to conceive what she 
has done. 

Marital fidelity has never been the favorite pas- 
time of kings, queens and princes, but Queen 
Marie's indiscretions have for years been the talk of 
Vienna, Paris, New York and her own Bucharest. 

To Queen Marie and her clique Roumania was 


not a country, but a gold mine. For over twenty 
years the Shtirbeys, the Bratianus and the Queen 
have filled their coffers with the gold of the 

I want to believe that Carol was indignant over 
the manner in which the people were exploited by 
the favorites of Queen Marie. But then he could 
be honest. He had inherited the major part of his 
uncle's fortune. Marie was poor. Prince Shtirbey 
had many daughters who needed dowries. In Rou- 
mania I was told that if Prince Shtirbey was un- 
faithful to his wife it was because he loved her and 
his children to distraction and wanted to enrich 

King Ferdinand, Marie, Shtirbey and the Bra- 
tianus had fingers in, and their hands on, every in- 
dustrial and agricultural enterprise of the country. 
They owned the banks of Roumania. Banks 
financed only those companies in which that clique 
owned shares. 

Queen Marie, Shtirbey, Bratianu & Co were not 
animated by any patriotic reason when they forced 
the Prince heir to renounce the throne. The few 
years that followed Carol's exile were merry years 
for them. They squeezed the country dry. The 
people of the richest country in natural resources 
were ground down until only the eyes were left 
them to weep with. They grabbed everything, the 



Bratianus. Their banks, the only ones that had any 
money, took forty, fifty and sixty per cent from mer- 
chants, industrialists, houseowners and landowners 
in need of money. Banks in Roumania pay as high 
as twenty-five per cent to depositors. Within a few 
years all the rolling cash had concentrated in a few 
hands. Lest anybody else stick a finger into the pie, 
the Bratianus passed a law in parliament forbidding 
the investment of foreign capital in the industries of 
the country. They called that law the "Prin noi 
insine," the "through ourselves" law. The law 
worked well and rapidly for the "ourselves." 

I have seen with my own eyes peasants in chains 
compelled to drive their low ox carts with grain to 
the market place when the price was at its lowest. 
The "ourselves" bought the grain. 

The "ourselves" bought the grapes off the vine and 
sold the wine with their labels on the bottles. 

The "ourselves" bought and sold the wood from 
die forests. 

The "ourselves" got the contracts for every public 
work that was never done. 

Those who criticized too loudly disappeared mys- 
teriously, or were thrown in dungeons as "enemies 
of the country," as spies in the pay of Russia, as 
Communists and speculators. Those who became 
"inconvenient" committed suicide or died conve- 
niently of heart failure. 



Queen Marie romped over the world, the new one 
and the old one, in search of new sensations, syndi- 
cate contracts, and checks for endorsements of beauty 
potions. Competing with celebrated actresses and 
dancers in vogue she has made her country famous 
and ridiculous beyond words. 

I left New York when she arrived. Other Rou- 
manians did likewise. The Roumanian Ambassador 
to Washington, who had repeatedly advised his gov- 
ernment against the Queen Mother's visit to the 
United States, was glad to go home when she came. 

Carol was banished from his country by the mer- 
cenary clique behind his mother. When Jonel Bra- 
tianu died there was little more left to loot. Jonel 
Bratianu's brother, Vintila, was a bungler. The 
Shtirbey-Bratianu clique had grown too fat and too 
self-confident. They were too rich to bother gather- 
ing the little that was left, and were anxious, a bit 
over-anxious, to secure their loot. The wealth of 
these gentlemen is in the vaults of international 
banks. The Liberals slipped. 

The "Peasant Party," these "friends of the people" 
have stuffed their pockets in a hurry. It was only 
when they were afraid of a revolution that they 
brought Carol back to the throne. To obtain a loan 
from France and the United States, a new law was 
passed permitting foreign capital to exploit the re- 
sources of the country. The "peasants" in frock coats 



and patent leather shoes have sold the match mo- 
nopoly to a Swedish firm, and other monopolies to 
other firms. 

Like King Richard the Lion Hearted who cried 
out that he would sell London if he found a buyer, 
the Roumanian rulers are advertising for buyers for 
the patrimony of the country. The mines, the oil 
wells, forests, fisheries and railroads. Let the buyers 
beware. Caveat emptor. It is one thing to buy and 
another to come into possession. 

The Peasant government cried that the Bratianus 
had left the coffers empty. The former secretary of 
state, Octavian Goga,had emptied the drawers of the 
petty cash even before he left. He bought himself a 
castle and an estate in Transylvania. 

Yet while they cried "thief, thief," the friends of 
the people stole and robbed, manipulated, swindled 
and bought in the estates of the expropriated Hun- 
garian noblemen who had been forced out of their 
homes beyond the Carpathians. 

People close to the King told me that when he 
discovered that he had been duped by his new 
friends, he wept like a child. But it is not the busi- 
ness of a king to weep. Martial law still rules in 
Roumania. It is applied to those unfriendly to the 
government. The same law could have been applied 
to false friends. 

"Now people suspect also the King of unclean 

2 75 


hands/' a newspaper man told me. "For the scoun- 
drels who have brought him back say that they had 
to have cash to pay Carol's debts before they could 
get him out of France." 

My friend laughed. 

"They were in a hurry, the peasants. The Brati- 
anus could well afford to take their loot leisurely. 
They were well intrenched. Their overfilled coffers 
bulged with gold. These people here are still poor. 
In time they too will become more leisurely. Later 
on they will steal like gentlemen. Carol is very 
faithful to his friends." 

And now what will he do, King Carol ? Will he 
continue to be the tool of his friends and foes, or will 
he pull himself together and rid the country of the 
wolves ? 

If he plays further into the hands of the new or 
the old clique he saddles upon himself the responsi- 
bility for the inevitable dismemberment of Rou- 
mania. Revolution. War. 

He has the choice of being either the last Hohen- 
zollern King or the first president of the Roumanian 




tried to straighten 
things out at home. His press bureau attempted to 
assuage the feelings and the sentiments of Europeans 
and Americans about the cruelty with which he was 
supposed to have treated his own wife. It was hard 
work to undo Marie's mischief. She had painted his 
picture with definite strokes. The mind of the world 
could not be so easily reversed. Whatever he did 
and said was caricatured. 

Queen Helen had been trumpeted into a martyr. 
She has never loved Carol. Carol has repeatedly told 
the world that he has never loved her. As far as 
their intimate relations were concerned, they were 
both happier apart than together. He was the father 
of her child. She had been the victim of political 
manipulations which had married her to a man 
physically and spiritually incompatible with her. 
Now Carol had come back to Bucharest, sat himself 
down on the throne, given her the title of Queen 
and insisted that she appear with him at official 
functions. When she refused he threatened to take 
the child away from her. He was King. 



The former King of Greece, married to one of 
Carol's sisters, has been living in the Roumanian 
King's castles ever since he was driven from his own 
throne. Helen had, therefore, nothing to gain and 
everything to lose if she antagonized her profligate 

"You have sided with my enemies," he wrote to 
her. "When I was exiled you should have joined me 
when I asked you to. The place of a wife is beside 
her husband." 

And then suddenly Queen Marie returned home; 
as chipper as ever, as buoyant as ever, and Carol and 
Prince Nicholas, Princess Ileana and Queen Helen, 
with little Michael at her hand, appeared to greet 
the Dowager Queen at the railroad station. The 
photographers and the news reel camera men were 
there too. 

Bucharest divided itself. Some were happy that 
Carol had made up with his mother, that there 
would be peace henceforth in the royal household. 
Others said that the Queen would soon show her 
hand; that she would immediately begin to intrigue, 
and that she would demand an accounting from 
Carol for having driven off her favorite, Prince 
Shtirbey, and her friend the banker. 

But Marie did nothing of the kind. If she did 
reproach her son with his actions she did it softly, 



merely pointing out to him that in driving out Shtir- 
bey he had stigmatized his mother. 

Carol stood his ground. Queen Marie demanded 
that Carol reconsider Prince Shtirbey's exile, but did 
not insist too forcibly. She showed so much humility 
that Carol was emboldened to tell her that she must 
keep her peace henceforth. 

After a few days at the palace, the Dowager 
Queen left as suddenly as she had come and an- 
nounced that she was going to one of her castles on 
the Black Sea, at Mamaia; to rest from her strenuous 
voyages and to meditate. 

King Carol marvelled at the quick submission of 
his mother. He had been trained to fear her. When- 
ever he had gone contrary to her wishes she had 
bested him. He had steeled himself against her. Her 
humbleness humiliated him. She had disappointed 

Was that the woman he had feared so much? 
Was that the woman whose iron hand had made 
him reel back every time he had met her? Was she 
growing old? How was it that she had not stood 
up more vigorously for Prince Shtirbey? Had her 
faith in the "Grey Eminence" faded, or had she dis- 
missed Shtirbey because he had not prevented 
Carol's return? She had not even mentioned to 
other man! 



And then the secret leaked out. Queen Marie 
had gone to Mamaia with a new friend, a young 
officer. Bucharest was laughing up its sleeve at the 
gay old Queen. 

"A wonderful woman. These English women 
have a will of their own." 

Furious, Carol ordered that young officer to the 
other end of the country to some obscure little gar- 
rison town. 

The fifty -seven -year -old grandmother burst 
through the palace gates. Disregarding the presence 
of the King's advisers, she launched forth into the 
most furious accusations against Carol. She wept. 
She tore her hair. She pounded the table with her 
fists. She told him that he was an unnatural, unfeel- 
ing wretch. She demanded back her officer. 

Taken unawares, Carol pleaded first, then he 
threatened to have her put behind the walls of a 
nunnery. The Dowager Queen did not desist. She 
raised her voice. She refused to leave the room. 

Finally, Carol, exhausted, shrugged his shoulders. 
He recognized his mother's great need for compan- 
ionship and signed an order that made the Queen 
happy again. 

It was an unwise action. He should have clapped 
her into a nunnery when he discovered that she was 
making herself ridiculous. He should have exiled 



The Queen still has some friends in Bucharest, 
hidden friends, who believe that her power has not 
waned forever. 

A few days after Queen Marie had returned to 
Mamaia, a whispering campaign spread the news in 
Bucharest, over the whole of Roumania, and the rest 
of the world, that the Roumanians were indeed 
being ruled by a woman, and by a Jewish woman 
at that. It was said that Magda Lupescu, the red- 
headed daughter of the junk peddler, was living in 
the King's palace. 

"The reason Helen refuses to appear publicly with 
her husband is that she refuses to share him with 
his Jewish paramour." 

Within a few days this rumor was accepted as a 
certainty. The anti-Semitic press hinted at it. The 
anti-Jewish propagandists, always friendly to Marie, 
began to repeat the rumors and give details. 

Madame Lupescu was seen here, there and every- 
where. They had seen her head at the windows of 
the palace. 

Their own eyes had seen her father visiting the 

The Lupescus had received heavy bags of gold 
from the palace. 

The whole wealth of the country was being trans- 
ferred to that Jewish family. 

At anti-Semitic clubs it was said that Magda 



Lupescu was playing out the role of Esther in the 
first part of the biblical story; that the Jews of the 
world had intrigued her into Carol's graces so that 
they might rule Roumania; that unless something 
was done Carol would crown the Jewess as their 

On the strength of these rumors, pogroms against 
Jews were being organized everywhere. Carol or- 
dered these pogroms suppressed with all the means 
at the disposal of the government. But the mayors 
and military commanders of the towns advised cau- 
tion; lest a general conflagration should follow. 
When a group of representative Jews visited the Sec- 
retary of State and asked protection for their co- 
religionists, that gentleman answered that the gen- 
darmerie had not been paid for months. 

"Pay the gendarmes and I will send them to the 
rescue of your friends/' he said. 

Carol did not know what to do to suppress the 
rumor of Madame Lupescu's return to Roumania. 

And then someone had a bright idea. Magda 
Lupescu, who had been living quietly in Paris, was 
prevailed upon to appear every day, at four-thirty in 
the afternoon, at one of the most popular tea rooms 
in Paris. She was asked to sit for half an hour at 
one of the most conspicuous tables in the place, so 
that every one should see her and know that she was 
in Paris and not with the King in the palace. 



Some said she did it out of friendship for the 
King. Others maintained that she agreed to expose 
herself in public to save the Jews of her country. 

On the dot of the hour, her limousine, driven by 
a liveried chauffeur, appeared in front of the cele- 
brated tea room at the Place Vendome, and the 
tall, red-headed woman, with well-rounded figure, 
walked jauntily up the few steps. Throwing her 
ample rich furs about her, she sat down at the table 
reserved for her. 

A few minutes later, reporters, photographers, de- 
tectives and statesmen came to assure themselves that 
she was really there. 

The happy news was broadcast to Roumania, to 
the world. The Queen's friends were check-mated* 
The anti- Jewish riots stopped for a while. 

"Magda Lupescu is in Paris." 

But another one of Carol's former lady friends, an 
actress, did not intend to let Magda Lupescu get 
away with so much publicity and have the stage all 
to herself. 

Idlers and visitors frequented that tea room. 

A few days later this second young lady reserved 
a table as conspicuous as that of the red-headed 
woman, and appeared a few moments after Madame 
Lupescu had come in. 

The Lupescu woman was furious. The other lady 
was beaming. 



A few days later, a third lady, known to have been 
Carol's latest friend, also reserved a table at the same 
tea room. 

When a fourth lady appeared, Paris began to 

And then a wit, a clever stage man, a friend of 
one of the three young ladies who had followed 
Madame Lupescu, told the young actress that she 
was losing a golden opportunity. 

"You are one of four now. If you suddenly stop 
coming your absence will be even more conspicuous 
than your presence. Then the news wires of the 
world would hum." 

One after the other, the three young ladies dis- 

Madame Lupescu continued to live up to her 

Lunching recently at a Russian restaurant close by 
the Parisian stock exchange, I saw Madame Lupescu 
appear in the company of a tall, middle-aged 

I looked at her closely. We nodded to one 

Turning to my companion, I remarked, 

"I really don't see what there is about her to have 
made her so attractive to King Carol." 

"My dear, she is the most faithful and loyal person 
on earth. When she undertook to capture Prince 



Carol's attention and report to the Queen everything 
she saw and heard, she did so even after she had 
begun to love the man she had agreed to betray. 
Think of the ridiculous position she finds herself in 
now. She must appear at a given place for tea every 
day. She will do that, no matter what happens, for 
as long as her agreement lasts. Only death can stop 
her. That faithfulness is one of the things Carol 
admires in her." 
Perhaps I do admire her myself for that. 



Carol's return to 
Roumania many smoke curtains were lowered over 
the internal affairs of the country. The outside 
world was kept amused with stories as to when the 
official coronation of the King would take place. 
Then the coronation was postponed time and again 
for different excuses. A barrage of information was 
loosened as to the progress of the peace proposals 
Carol offered to his wife. As the King and the chief 
magistrate of the country, he had ordered that the 
divorce, that had already been declared between 
them, be voided. By his orders, Helen became 
legally his wife again. To the outside world it 
seemed that their reconciliation was but a matter of 
weeks; that Helen postponed this reconciliation as a 
matter of form to save her own face and pride. But 
those who knew conditions in Roumania and the 
affairs of the royal palace knew also that such a 
reconciliation would never take place; chiefly be- 
cause Carol did not want it to happen. He may have 
wanted to give the impression to the world that it 



was he who recanted and asked forgiveness from the 
wife he had betrayed. As a matter of fact he felt that 
he had been the aggrieved party and that if there 
was any forgiveness to be asked, Helen had to ask it 
of him; because she had allied herself with his 
mother and with the clique that had put him in such 
a bad light in the eyes of the world. He felt that it 
was up to him to decide whether he wanted to con- 
tinue with her as his wife when he should have for- 
given her. Those who tried to bring the two to- 
gether knew that their difficulty was to make Carol 
forgive Helen and not to make Helen forgive Carol. 
And Carol was right. 

This affair bothered Roumania and the Rou- 
manian people very little. It had to be done to sat- 
isfy the outside world. The financial affairs of the 
country were precarious. The domestic affairs of the 
King were only of secondary importance. 

Shtirbey's exile meant a great deal more than the 
expulsion from the country of one of the King's 
enemies. Shtirbey and another friend of Queen 
Marie were the heads of the most important bank- 
ing institutions in Roumania and both of them, 
as friends of Carol's mother, immediately applied the 
sanctions to Roumania's industrial and financial life. 
Neither the government nor the industrialists of the 
country could obtain any loans. 

Dowager Queen Marie seemingly stood aside from 


all this wrangling and mess and waited to see the 
results of what her friends were doing to bring Carol 
to his knees. External loans were becoming more 
and more difficult to obtain due to the financial un- 
rest of the country and also to the lack of internal 
political security. The financial pressure became un- 
bearable. The army was not paid. Employes were 
not paid. Officials had to borrow, steal and rob in 
order to live. 

The news that came out of Roumania was not 
encouraging to foreign capital. In addition to that, a 
law had been passed, to relieve the pressure upon 
Roumanian business men, but it turned out to have 
entirely different results. I am speaking of the "Con- 
cordat preventif" law. This law gave the privilege 
to every business man to tell his creditors that he was 
not in a position to pay his bills, and yet it did not 
give the creditors the right to enforce payment by 
declaring the man or the firm bankrupt. Upon such 
a declaration, the creditor's bill was cut in half, and 
the payment of the other half was spread over five 
years beginning with the fourth year after the man 
had declared his inability to pay. The immediate 
result of that law was that all credits, internal and 
external, were cut off and that no bank would lend 
any money. Business men who needed cash were 
compelled to go to usurers who charged them any- 
thing they wished. Even sixty per cent was not con- 



sidered high interest in Roumania. Banks paid 
thirty and thirty-five per cent to the depositors after 
the "concordat preventif ' law was enacted. The 
external capital which had been expected to flood 
into Roumania, after the mining laws had been 
changed, remained severely, outside. 

"Our last station is Budapest/' an American 
banker announced, when Roumanians with good 
securities applied for a loan. 

The monopolies which were conceded or sold, and 
the concessions which were given by the government 
were negotiated under the most onerous conditions. 
And the amount of currency circulating in the coun- 
try diminished. When the Roumanian government 
finally saw itself compelled to sell the monopoly of 
railroad transportation, a French and English syndi- 
cate came to investigate conditions; dallied for a long 
time and ultimately answered in the negative. Rou- 
manian railroads are among the few properties left 
to the nation which are not encumbered by debts 
and mortgages and not included as guaranty for the 
external bonds, yet even on that property they were 
unable to raise credits. 

"The greatest asset is stability and not security," 
the financiers answered. 

The bonds of the internal debts dropped continu- 
ally in value. Roumanian banks would not accept 
them as collateral even for forty per cent of their 



face value. The bonds which had been given to the 
boyars, when their land was appropriated, could not 
be marketed at all. The Bratianu banks kept on 
hammering at the financial anvil And then Carol 
was made to see that under present conditions one 
did not get rid of an enemy by exiling him from 
the country. That an enemy could keep a strangle 
hold upon a nation even from a distance. 

At a meeting in Vienna between Shtirbey, Kauff- 
man and representatives of the government of King 
Carol, an attempt was made to come to a working 
agreement with the friends of Marie. They were 
asked to loosen their grip upon the country. 

It was a secret meeting, but enough of it has 
leaked out to prove that at that meeting it was Shtir- 
bey who held the whip hand. He claimed now to be 
the aggrieved party. He had been ignominiously 
treated. What he demanded, practically, was that 
the King should apologize to him; that his exile 
should be revoked. He demanded similar terms for 
his financial friends and even demanded to know 
what the future policy of the King would be towards 
the Queen Mother. 

Nothing was settled at that conference. Financial 
conditions in Roumania continued to be what they 
had been. More pressure was applied upon the busi- 
ness men. The government found it even more 
difficult to obtain the necessary cash to run its affairs. 



Carol's counsellors advised caution, and in their 
nervousness, began to point out to the King that 
there were higher interests than those of a personal 
nature; that if the country demanded it, he had to 
submerge his personal animosity before the highest 
claims of national interest. King Carol was again 
between the devil and the deep sea. He had a choice 
of either seeing his country ruined or being made the 
laughing stock of the world. At the present moment 
he is still trying to avoid both traps. 

The trouble with King Carol is that he is a vacil- 
lating man. He wakes up in the morning with the 
strength of a Napoleon and the energy of an Alex- 
ander, but winds up the day as a skeptic who doubts 
whether action has ever been worth while. He hasn't 
yet made up his mind whether he wants to be the 
dictator of Roumania or the man who will introduce 
real democracy into the country of the Walachians. 

He is a despot at one moment and as soft as wax 
in the hands of his advisors the next. 

He still does not know whether he is to rule the 
country as it would best serve the national interest, or 
rule it so as to make himself appear a civilized man 
in the eyes of the world, regardless of what happens 
to the country. He still fears the possibility of exile 
for himself. Even while he is on the throne he is 



thinking that the day may not be far off when he 
may have to look to foreign lands for asylum. And 
he is in love with Magda Lupescu. If he bring her 
to the palace the peasants would be goaded into 
an uprising against the Jews and would slaughter 
them all. The anti-Semites, friends of Marie, keep on 
harping on the fact that Magda Lupescu is a Jewess. 

"Do you want to have a Jewish queen ? She would 
have the churches torn down and replace them with 

As I write this, news arrives that Vintila Bratianu 
has suddenly departed from among the living. He 
died of heart failure while working in his garden. 

Obituaries in newspapers and magazines point out 
that his death clears the way for a reconciliation be- 
tween the Liberal Party and the King. Vintila 
Bratianu died a little too conveniently. Convenient 
deaths happen a little too frequently in Roumania 
not to remind one of the days of the Borgias. 

As the former premier of his country and the 
leader of the Liberal Party, Vintila Bratianu had 
been the only man in Parliament who dared openly 
to vote against the decree which reinstated Carol on 
the throne. I have hated his motive but have ad- 
mired his courage, By % his opposition, he committed 
the whole Liberal Party to a definite anti-Carolist 
stand, and practically wiped out any chance the Lib- 
erals might ever have had to come into power. 



Though the Liberals had been in favor of the 
regency and had opposed Carol's return with all the 
means at their disposal, Vintila Bratianu's open 
opposition at a moment when Carol was King, de 
facto, had forever sealed the possibility of his party's 
working with the King. 

The Roumanians are politically a very pliable 
people. The younger element of the Liberal Party 
did not fail to see that their leader's action was 
against their interests; that he had thrown them out 
of the gears of the political machine. 

Even the opposition party thought that Vintila 
had not acted wisely. For since there must be an 
opposition, it was better to have the Liberal Party as 
an opponent to the Peasant Party than any new 
party that might form itself. 

The Liberal Party split. The younger element, led 
by George Bratianu, son of Jonel Bratianu, declared 
itself in favor of Carol. The older element, with 
Vintila at the head, continued to refuse to recognize 
the legality of the decree which reinstated Carol 
von Hohenzollern to the throne of Roumania. 
It would have been easy to dismiss the older element 
and accept the young one as The Liberal Party. But 
the older faction controlled the banks; the older ele- 
ment with Shtirbey and Marie. Parallel with the 
Hohenzollern dynasty there was the Bratianu dy- 
nasty. The sceptre of the Bratianus wielded, some- 



times, greater power than the sceptre of the King, 
This was pointed out to me in a recent conversation 
with George Bratianu. 

"Why don't you, the younger element of the coun- 
try, put your shoulders to the wheel?" I had asked. 
"The older men have almost ruined it. They have 
led the people astray; they have led the whole coun- 
try astray. Why don't you, who have been educated 
in Europe and in the United States, take hold of the 
reins of the country and govern it in a more civilized 
manner than it has been governed until now?" 

George Bratianu, a mild-mannered young man of 
about thirty, threw his hands up in the air. 

"They have a grip on the country not a political 
grip, but a financial grip." 

"They" meant his uncle, his own family. 

He, George, the son of Jonel who had so actively 
opposed Carol, who had been his personal enemy, 
was willing to let bygones be bygones and work with 
his young King. But there were other powers at 
work. Shtirbey was still the shadow King of 

Another political man said that these young men, 
the Bratianus and Cantacuzenes, had no political ex- 
perience; that it would be dangerous to entrust them 
with the reins of the government. 

To my reply that the political experience of the 
older men had not been used for the benefit of the 



country, I was told that I had been too long away 
from Roumania and did not understand what politi- 
cal experience meant. 

"Don't forget the Queen. She has powerful allies. 
These young men might go out and oppose her 
openly, really oppose her. She is the greatest danger 
to the country." 

"The Queen?" 

"Well Shtirbey if you must cross your tV 

Slowly but surely the King of Roumania is being 
humiliated by his mother. He is being compelled to 
recall the men whom he had exiled and is being 
forced to reinstate her into full power, and with full 
honors, to the position she has occupied before. 

Instead of telling the Dowager Queen to consider 
her age and to retire from political life; to go some- 
where and rest and enjoy what is still left to her of 
life, the King of England has interfered in her 
behalf and has reprimanded Carol for his behavior 
towards his mother. 

Royal pressure is also being applied by the other 
remaining royal houses of Europe. Carol is being 
told what to do and how to behave. New sanctions 
are being applied. New financial pressure is brought 
to bear down the stiffened neck of Marie's son. The 
interest of the European royal houses is not the same 
as that of the Roumanian people. Monarchs are 
afraid to see one more monarchy disappear from the 


face of the earth. They are afraid of their own 
security if more ridicule is heaped upon the Rou- 
manian royal household. Such ridicule reflects also 
upon their heads, and endangers their position and 
power in their own countries. 

The thrones of Europe lean against one another. 
Queen Marie, after having made them all look 
awry, has appealed to them to come to her rescue, to 
straighten out her toppling high seat. 

If King Carol really has the interest of his people 
at heart, if he has enough strength of character, he 
still has the opportunity of saving himself the inevi- 
table humiliations that are in store for him. 

It is unbelievable that he does not know how 
much depends on his actions. 

Roumania is a rich country one of the richest 
countries in the world. 

Its people are sturdy and healthy. 

It has enormous possibilities. 

Ore, coal, copper, gold, for which in other coun- 
tries miners and machines must go down into the 
bowels of the earth, lie almost on the surface of 
Roumanians soil. 

Its forests are heavy with beautiful timber. 

Its vast fields are fat and rich. 

Its rivers are full of fish. 

Even if only half well administered, the people 


of Roumania could live happily and in great 

For unexplainable reasons, the history o that poor 
country, my native country, is the history of wars 
and massacres, of mal-administration, of cruelty, per- 
secution and internal suicide. 

The Hohenzollerns have not improved the moral 
and physical condition of the country. They have 
made it the laughing stock of the world. They have 
not been interested in the improvement of the con- 
ditions of the country. They have used their power 
as recklessly and as indiscriminately as parvenus use 
their newly acquired riches. Stupidly, grossly, osten- 

If Carol sits much longer on the throne of Rou- 
mania, the time is not far off when he will again be 
seen behind a little table on the terrace of a Parisian 
cafe; just one more exiled king in the great city of 
Rabelais and Voltaire. And lean fingers will point 
at him. 

"There is the man who could have averted the 
greatest European war and has failed to do so." 

And who will then care whether red-headed 
Magda, dark-eyed Mirela, plump Zizi, delicate Elvira 
or stately Helen will be at his side? No one in the 
world. He will be just another failure another one 
who had missed the opportunity to make this earth a 



happier place to live in another one whose fum- 
bling fingers had set loose one more hell upon the 

And where will Marie be then, if she still be 
among the living? Applauding another Passion 


This book has been set up, printed 

and bound in the U. S*. A. by 

Braunworth sf Co.